Anyone have updates on their Lemon Zest seedlings or any other Zill polyembryonic variety?
Our grafted trees here in SoCal have a horrible and energy wasting habit of flowering in its first Winter. By planting seedlings of Polyembryonic varieties, I hope to overcome this challenge while at the same time guarantee that I will have good tasting fruit that is similar, if not identical to the parent without having to graft(because of the flowering issue from mature scions).
I hope to completely bypass the issue of "which seedling is the clone, which is zygotic" by keeping at least two seedlings arising from a single seed. Assuming that there is only one zygote per fruit/seed, I should have a good chance of getting a true clone. Assumptions are usually the mother of all f ups and this is why I would like to gather more information from forum members regarding any additional information, observations or pictures you might have.
When planting Polyembryonic seedlings, one must be aware that multiple sprouts can arise from a single segment of a seed and these two sprouts should have the same genotype and should not be counted as two seperate seedlings. Even Monoembryonic seeds can and often do have multiple sprouts coming from a single segment of the seed.
For my Polyembryonic seeds, I usually start them in a double ziplock bag, wrapped with a slightly moist paper towel and put on top of a seedling heat mat. By sprouting in this manner, I can observe and ensure that there is at least two seedlings arising from two seperate segments of the seed.
The original seedlings from the start of this thread were neglected and died and several others were given away to friends so I only have a few seedlings left that were planted last year. One observation I have experienced first hand is that it may be possible to differentiate which seedling is the true clone for unique Polyembryonic varieties like LZ by damaging and and smelling the juice coming from the leaves.
When I damaged the leaves to a LZ seedling, it smelled identical to the smell of the damaged leaves from a true grafted LZ. My current seedlings are too small right now but I also expect to see the wavy appearance of the typical LZ leaves in the true clones.
Even if one were able to select the true clone, there can be mutations and genetic drift that alters the phenotype and genotype.
I know there are lots of people that planted seeds from Zill Polyembryonic varieties and it would be great if you can post pictures or provide additional information or observations. I'll post pictures of my tiny seedlings next time I'm in the yard.