I had an unusual tomato plant this year with off leaf formations. It seemed to fruit reasonably well despite this. If I collect and grow on seeds from this plant can I expect to see similar characteristics in its offspring?

I know that some plants produce wildly different characteristics in the seeded offspring, such as apples. I do not know if tomato plants are generally "true to seed", "true to type", included to "growing true" or however else you phrase it.

The plant in question was the subject of an earlier question I had Why does my tomato plant have tightly shrivelled green leaves? The conclusion being either virus, stress or genetic mutation. If it is a mutation, it might appear in seeded descendants. I would expect that a virus or stress would not show in descendants.


1 Answer 1


The answer is "it depends". Open pollinated strains of tomato exist, which will come true to type, although "type" will be more genetically diverse than close-pollinated strains.

As for your particular plant - viruses can pass onto seeds (depending on where they are distributed) which could, therefore, affect the offspring. A genetic mutation would if it made it into seeds, although 'sports' commonly start life as a single limb that has been affected. Stress should not show in the offspring.

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