Could you please advise us how to extract viable seed from tomato fruits? We are planning some experiments crossing tomatoes.
Tomatoes might be quite tricky to cross because they are self fertile. You will therefore need to emasculate those flowers chosen as female parents.
The seeds from a ripe tomato may not germinate immediately they are extracted from the fruit because of the presence of germination inhibitors in the tissue surrounding the seeds. The way to deal with this is to pick the seeds out of a ripe tomato and then to rub them gently against a grater or sieve to separate them from the surrounding tissue. Then wash them in water.
I usually dry them over night on a piece of paper towel and sow them the next day. This seems to get rid of the germination inhibitors (which are themselves an intersting topic to study).
Richard Price, SAPS