Is a non-astringent American-Asian hybrid persimmon within reach?


<< I think that finding someone who has done research into the specifics of “which gene does what” would be helpful in this quest. >>

I have no evidence that such research exists yet.

<< The Russians, though, clearly have a vested interest and a history of attempting to improve cold hardiness and fruit size concurrently.>

Right but all the Ukrainian (not Russian) work has been with astringent varieties, Asian and American. Only the Japanese and Korean work focuses on non-astringents.

<< Is it known what mechanism in DV or Hachiya causes astringency, and are they actually different genetics? If they are the same genes and we know they could be suppressed with certainty, then the quest is worthwhile. >>

IDK. It seems that the mechanisms are different (maybe merely different tannins) because CO2 / alcohol treatment works in Asian PCAs but not in Americans.

I think a key question is whether the genes occupy the same spots on their respective chromosomes. So then is a hybrid either-or or both-and?

<< I wonder if it would make sense to attempt crossing the Chinese LTTS with JT-02? If you have a higher probability of a dominant non-astringent gene being transferred that could then be bred with DV, would that make the odds drastically reduced and allow for selecting a better tasting seedling instead of hoping for a few that have the one trait you are attempting to replicate? >>

When and if LTTS is available, I’m sure lots of growers would try crosses of LTTS with desirable varieties that would be improved by the removal of astringency. I have no idea whether LTTS produces male flowers. No doubt the crosses would be easier with Asian PCA Kakis than with Virgniana.

<< Would having a DV as the male or female be beneficial in either scenario in a series of back-crossing? >>

Almost all Asian PCNAs are female. Given that PCNA is recessive, that would be an insurmountable problem – all crosses would require a dominant astringent male – except that there are male flowers on a few PCNAs. So the few PCNAs that bear male flowers are very important. Taishu, which has been the pollen donor in most modern crosse, is monoecious. I believe that the same is true of some of the Goshos, which were used extensively in earlier work. Fuyu and Jiro produce some male flowers sometimes, but not routinely; so they have been used occasionally.

<< I’m mostly rambling but just trying to get some thoughts down before they disappear. I don’t have enough background in biology to figure this stuff out, just enough knowledge to get myself in trouble. >>

No worries. I’m only a step ahead.


I would be interesting to see if the hermaphrodite traits that cause male flowers on some could be triggered to express in many more varieties, by using techniques like watering with colloidal silver during flowering.

These methods are well explored in cannabis breeding apparently for creating feminised seeds from two female parents.

Colloidal silver is easy to make overnight with a 9V battery and two pieces of silver if anyone wants to run an experiment on this.


Some more info on PCNAs Fuyu & Jiro with male flowers . . . << Male flowers on these leading pollination-constant, non- astringent (PCNA) cultivars should be very useful for developing improved PCNA types >>

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Another possibility - What if full Asian non-astringent seeds were trialed in the thousands to just find pure Asian cold hardy genetics? I know Miss Kim is supposed to be able to survive in z6B already. Why not get started on seeds there? Is there something I’m missing?
This crazy person is growing citrus in Pennsylvania. If that can be done, why not persimmons?

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This is one possible way but you need a good amount of pollen to create such quantity of seeds. Then the resulting seedling should grow in a harsh environment from the very beginning to speed up the selection for hardiness.

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I posted a Link aboput research that Japanese can track the Halotypes in plants
you can also search here for Japanese persimmon (search diospyros dio -spy ros)

## Genetic region of origin varieties that contributed to apple breeding-Development of a method to automatically track the inheritance of haplotypes of origin varieties-

For instance if they can predict Acid content in apples not even producing ,
maybe they can do that for persimmons or that technology before even being produced
“” * In the evaluation of the genomic selection (GS) (Note 3) prediction model, it is possible to predict the malic acid content of fruits with high accuracy, and it is expected that breeding will be more efficient."

not to get side tracked I know in America vitisgen screens thousands of grapes by ultra violet photography in seconds for screening for disease traits for culling out unwanted powdery mildew grapes seedlings from crosses

The Kyushu Okinawa Agricultural Research Center, NARO

EDIT (sorry No reference at this time, but this information I have some place)
ALSO brought up about Inbreeding
there is a 100 year old research book wrote free online
mentioned about inbreeding the "persimmon species "
after a period of time Lone persimmons tree’s found inbreeding in the wild reverts it’s genetics A way to create biodiversity naturally in " that parthenocarpic species while inbreeding over Generations.


Yes I understand most apples are diploid and a lot of cultivated persimmon is hexoploid 2n = 90 like brought up so wouldn’t breeding one with less Chromosomes carry less of the genes

Japanese have 2n=120 so wouldn’t more of those traits be passed down on that variety
(if it is even cold hardy)
Kentucky 2n= 60
Although I think the Var in Key west is 2n =30 ( Diospyros virginiana var. mosieri Small)
(edit At least I read a lot about it, but do not know if it’s correct )

This chromosome information was looked into a while back
but After Embryonic rescue
if you did a key west Diospyros virginiana mosieri Var 2n= 30 with a D . kaki 2n=120 would that be 2 n =90

IS my math wrong if it ended up crossing?
(can someone explain the equation or math site (I used to be good at it but forgot)


Both the Japanese and the Koreans followed essentially this approach initially, focusing on other traits. They wanted improved size and flavor as well as reduced cracking and earlier ripening. They had some limited success but found that the restricted gene pool among J-PCNA varieties caused the usual problems of in-breeding, such as small fruit size and reduced vigor.

To my knowledge, these programs have officially released 17 new PCNA varieties through 2020 (though I could easily have missed some). I imagine that they tested 2000-3000 seedlings per release, maybe 50,000 seedlings total, more or less. But as far as I can see, few of the new releases have had much impact other than Taishu. That said, a couple of recent releases appear to have promise – I’d like to know more about the Japanese release Soshu (2000) and the Korean release Jowan (2020), both of which are reportedly early and tasty. There’s no indication that any of them has been checked rigorously for cold-hardiness.

I’d be careful jumping to conclusions about Korean PCNA varieties with reportedly exceptional cold tolerance, such as Tam Kam. ALL Korean PCNAs originated in Japan, so I have to believe that any Korean PCNA that did not originate in the Korean breeding program is simply a Japanese variety with a Korean name.

FWIW, Miss Kim is astringent (PCA). A non-astringent hybrid would require 2 generations, as described above, e.g. [Miss Kim (F) x Taishu (M)] x Taishu (M).


Fantastic article.

At the end it’s stated that only bud sports of staminite Fuyu were capable of being re-grafted (continuusly) and that bud sports of Jiro had all but vanished over time. Those Fuyu that were able to be grafted had extremely poor vigor which suggests to me, that monoecious/“self-pollination” is not the viable route to producing cultivars with traits we want that already exist of course on these said “mother plants.” An example would be JT-02 having staminite (male flowers) “show up” which this article relates as bud sports…

None of these bud sports that produced (very few seeds) when top-grafted to the original cultivar (bud-sport Fuyu grafted to ‘Fuyu’) could be determined having different DNA/Isotopes/Enzymes… “whatever you want to call it…” so there was no exchange of differing DNA to the resultant seeds grown out.

The article is in more depth than this… but’s that the big take-away.

I appreciate the chance for new knowledge on persimmons again @jrd51

best regards,


@Barkslip – My takeaway re Fuyu/Jiro is that male flowers show up rarely, apparently when the shoot is stressed and at risk of dying. I can imagine how an absence of male flowers became the norm – human growers who didn’t like seeds in their fruit de-selected monoecious PCNAs and propagated all female PCNAs by grafting. So maybe the appearance of male flowers in stressed PCNA trees / branches is Nature’s way of fighting back to ensure that seeds are produced by a stressed, otherwise all female, tree.

This rarity of male flowers in the high quality PCNAs Fuyu & Jiro is what make Taishu so special – for breeding if not for eating. It is a descendant of Fuyu and Jiro that is (reportedly) truly monoecious.

I think “None . . . could be determined having different DNA” just means that these were authentic bud sports from Fuyu, not shoots of some other variety that got mixed up in the lab.


I’m not even going to get into conifers but they are simple compared to any of this. I now am curious whether or not conifer sports have the same pollen parameters of the parent. Ornamental tree grafting and finding sports is a really big deal because they look nothing like the parent trees, foliage. Of course there are sports with splashes of variegation or simply the foliage may be 1/2 the size or have a different shape leaf (if deciduous sports…) This stuff grafts easy and grows and holds vigor (vigor can be deminished or stays the same). Witches brooms are not what I’m speaking about in any context, btw. These are all bud mutations, but sports as a general word/term have something significant about their fruit size/ripening time/sometimes vigor with fruit trees… and while with conifers or deciduous ornamentals where what is displayed, also has something ‘attractive’ to merit qualities different from its parent.

I’m curious now if sports in persimmons (doesn’t matter to me whether kaki or American) are as stable as conifer bud sport mutations. I’d like to know how many persimmon cultivars are derivatives of pre-existing cultivars? That hold vigor…

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Me too.

My understanding is that the first PCNA discovered was Gosho in the 1600s. By 1900 there were something like 12 known PCNAs. I have no idea whether these represent new discoveries in the wild or bud sports of varieties under cultivation. By the 1990s, there were something like 40 varieties, including both (a) some new releases from breeding programs, and (b) some additional bud sports of prior varieties. I am not aware of any recent new discoveries in the wild.

A digression: I ask myself, “How does a wild variety acquire the identical mutation across 6 chromosomes?” The best answer I can come up with is that a single mutation originated in a monoecious variety. This variety fertilized itself and its offspring; the offspring fertilized each other; eventually the result was at least one descendant with the same mutated gene across all six chromosomes. BTW this scenario is supported by the observation that a few Gosho-type PCNAs are monoecious. It is also consistent with the observation that genetic diversity in PCNAs is low.

Note that as the trait is recessive, there was no change in phenotype – no actual observed non-astringency – until the mutation appeared in all 6 genes. Note also the implication that this mutation may be lurking in some Japanese varieties now labeled PCA.

Back to your question: Some of the currently identified PCNA varieties are known to be bud sports of prior varieties. Based on what I’ve read: Ichi Ki Kei Jiro, Maekawa Jiro and Yaizuwase Jiro are bud sports of Jiro. Aisyuhou is a budsport of Maekawa Jiro. Matsumotowase Fuyu, Tanbawase Fuyu, and Sunami are budsports of Fuyu. Both Uenishiwase and Kai-Joh are budsports of Matsumowase Fuyu. That’s as much as I know but no doubt there are others.

Bottom line: Sports in persimmons seem stable.


I can say with a pretty good amount of certainty that sports on conifers or ornamentals (all deciduous let’s just say) can revert quickly or die quickly if they aren’t propagated pretty close to after when they formed. There are always exceptions. I’ve seen variegated sports on both Spruces and Pines that didn’t revert or die and continued growing (on the host) to immense sizes. I gotta say again if these aren’t propagated, they’re usually lost, quickly. The host seems to recognize these mutations and wish to remove them their-own-selves.

This could have something to do with the how’s or why’s of male flower ‘sporting’ in persimmon trees. The tree wants to kill them or return them to their original state of female-only, pistillate-flowers…

Dax – I think maybe we have to differentiate between (a) bud sports, which reflect mutations (changes in genotype), and (b) abnormal shoots, which reflect variations in gene expression (changes in phenotype).

I don’t think the male-flowering shoots reported in this study necessarily reflect mutations. Rather, I suspect that the genes of Fuyu and Jiro are inherently capable of producing male flowers but actually do so only under certain environmental conditions, including certain types of stress. So the appearance of shoots with male flowers isn’t the result of a genetic mutation but is rather the result of an epigenetic adjustment / change in gene expression. These epigenetic / environmentally-driven behaviors would be inherently unstable.

In the animal world, there are numerous examples where organisms change sex – without any modification of genes. I think this is similar.


I read that what you’re talking about such as the conditions caused slight or more changes in leaf thickness or pubescence, etc. so… I know what you’re speaking of, certainly. There were other morphological changes that widely still contained all the same gene expression of the parent. The pollen is the same… on these male inflorescence’s change-over. Which again, returned to normal female-only, flowers… if the shoot didn’t outright just give up and die. That’s how I read the study.

Where I don’t pick up yet and am pondering my own answer to it, is that chimeras are occurring… (I don’t know though - it’s been too long since I’ve thought about this stuff, even alone read about it - so let’s accept that, okay?) I’d appreciate it. What I’m thinking now is chimeras are a different sort of branch-mutation, that has the ability to change sexes like - these persimmons are now doing…

I got semi-disgusted with myself trying to understand all these mutations in nature so I stopped trying to figure out whether a variegated shoot was a sport or a chimera… the chimeras being the rarest of anything to occur from buds that, mutated…

… I’m quite sure now I’ve got the gist of bud sports as changes of Geneotype (same pollen, right?)

and that abnormal shoots as you say it are changes where pollen now is differing from the parent… is this correct, now? Am I understanding anything?

Thank you,

Dax – You’re dragging m well beyond my competence, which is limited to begin with. Maybe other readers can help.


“don’t feel lost”


Are there any AG schools breeding persimmons in the US?

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A Chimera is any living thing composed of 2 or more genetically distinct types of tissue. As an example, some humans are born with both female and male cells in their body. They may have a range of sex organs and body shape and type. The cause usually gets down to 2 or more eggs fusing inside the mother just after fertilization. Something similar can happen with plants where two or more genotypes make up a single plant. A plant would be referred to as a chimera if two different genotypes are expressed on the same plant part. I have seen leaves that were 1/2 thin and normal and 1/2 glabrous and crinkled. This would be called a chimera because a single plant part (leaf) shows two different genotypes.

A bud mutation is a type of sport, but a sport is not necessarily a bud mutation. The logic here is simple. If a single bud on a plant gives rise to a different phenotype, the mutation that caused the change was in primordial cells that gave rise to a bud that perpetuated the mutation. It is also possible to have mutations that affect cambial tissue such that 1/2 of a plant has white leaves (or variegated) and the other half has green leaves. Many mutations are a result of infection by mycoplasma, essentially these are the viruses of the plant world. I am not an expert on mutations, but can state accurately that almost all plants are subject to them and that any clonally propagated plant will eventually throw a mutation. This is why there are nearly a dozen known “sports” of Red Delicious apple.

Persimmon is more complicated due to polyploidy. I am going to speculate so don’t take this as proven! If persimmon sex determination is a single allele on a chromosome, then a hexaploid persimmon has 6 copies of the sex allele. If all 6 are for a female plant, then the plant is female and will never produce a male flower. But if 3 are male and 3 are female, then the plant might produce a range of flowers from male to female depending on which chromosome of the 6 is active as the flower initials are formed. There are other combinations such as 4 female and 2 male or 5 female and 1 male that might produce occasional male flowers. There is no way to prove this other than to investigate the flower sex determination genes in persimmon.


Thank you, Darrel!!!