Wednesday, September 1, 2010

HopTalk with The People's Hopmeister

Al Haunold Responds to Criticism Re: CTZ History Lesson

[Note: Dr. Al Haunold wrote an article on our blog recently (click here) in which he set forth the history of Columbus, Tomahawk and Zeus. He gave the factual background for the conclusion most of us know, and that is, although the names are different, genetically, they are most likely identical. Most of the feedback was overwhelming positive, but a few detractors were upset, accusing Al of maligning his old friend and colleauge, Chuck Zimmermann. Al, a stickler for the truth, which we appreciate, wanted to clarify the intent of his history lesson.]

When I provided the background information regarding the hop composite CTZ I did not have any intention to malign the lasting memory of my friend Chuck Zimmermann.

I have always counted Chuck as my friend and we have had a number of cooperative activities over the years. In writing the article about CTZ hops I simply wanted to put facts together that many insiders, especially the older ones, already knew.

Columbus and Tomahawk are identical and this has been publicly acknowledged.

Zeus, according to unpublished genetic marker analyses done by USDA scientists at Oregon State University, is very similar, if not identical to Columbus/Tomahawk.
Thus, the designation CTZ which is sometimes used in trade reports.

I am sorry to receive feedback from a few readers who perceived my historical account as attempting to cast Chuck Zimmermann’s contributions to the hop industry in a negative light. Far from it. Chuck has made tremendous contributions to the US hop industry. He has initially guided my entry into the field of hop research and I am very grateful for the valuable clues that I got from being associated with Chuck over the years.

When Chuck resigned from his USDA position he was concerned that valuable USDA hop material might be lost until a successor for his position could be found. And therefore, he moved some of this material to a private location for safe keeping. That likely also included some breeding material from Chuck’s research efforts while working for USDA at WSU Prosser.

I simply wanted to point out that even today we do not know anything about the pedigree of CTZ.

The Columbus patent (US patent Nr. Plant 10,956, filed March 22, 1995 and issued June 15, 1999) states that “Columbus was bred as the result of an open-pollination cross that was carried out in 1982 ….” Thus, the male parent was unknown, as indicated by the word “open pollination” . Seed, however, was collected on a female plant which has never been publicly identified and is not identified in the patent.

I am sorry to see that my interview with Indie Hops has unintentionally given a negative impression to some readers and I would like to apologize for that.

Best Regards,

Al Haunold, Ph.D

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