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Re: No New Messages & And a plant Chimera link

  • Subject: Re: No New Messages & And a plant Chimera link
  • From: andrewl <andrewl@hostahaven.com>
  • Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2001 08:10:23 -0500

Jim Hawes wrote:
No New Messages....

It's true, Jim.  We avid Hostaholics know when it's time to get off the computer and out into the garden!  :-)

I did stumble onto a web site that has quite a bit of info about Sports and Chimeras, particularly in the Tissue Culture process.  Good reading even if I do say so myself...

Mary F. Pogany and R. Daniel Lineberger
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/tisscult/chimeras/chimera.html .  I imagine this link has been posted before but it is a very nice review even though not too specific about Hosta.

There is good info here about L1, LII, LIII nomenclature; the appearance of Chimeras in the TC lab and from whence they originate' explanations regarding results one can anticipate when use axillary shoots vs. adventitious shoots (which I'm still working on understanding), etc.   Not much here on linkage mapping and transposable elements but it explains things pretty well from a micro-biological point of view.  

Incidentally, if anyone has this article, "Marcotrigiano, M. and R.N. Stewart. 1984. All variegated plants are not chimeras. Science 223: 505", I'd be most obliged for a chance to read it.  Might even consider a Hosta trade or two!

I've been spending some serious time with about 250 Hosta varieties and am learning my lessons regarding culture, species and cultivars well.  One thing for sure, a commercial grower probably should NOT accept TC babies real late in the season, unless equipped with HPS or MH lights and prepared to keep the heat on for a long time into the winter.  Had a lot of casualties from the very last batch that I received in late 2000 (around October 15?)   It is amazing, however, how some of the teeniest little meristems made it through the winter and have bounced back.  And the more established plants have come up with a conviction to grow, grOW, GROW, which we of course like.  This is not to say that young TC babies would not survive well in the out-of-doors, because my experience has been that they survive quite well (if the squirrels don't dig them out, the voles chew them up, or the rabbits nip them off to the roots early in the spring).  These later factors are DIFFERENT than what one faces in a GH.  Young plants in the garden may have to be protected untill they are better established.

The highest causes for success?  Use the proper potting mix and keep them dry (Tom Michelleti was, is, and most likely will continue to be, an honest man.  Tom extolls this position frequently, and for good reason), and then fix any potting mix problems BEFORE starting to water in the spring.  Sounds simple, doesn't it?  Yepper, it is, if implemented properly from the start.  

It is interesting, however, how many did WELL in one casual experiment I did.   I placed about 15 dozen, that had been potted up and grown on all season, out in open flats right where mother nature could do whatever she chose to them.  I did this with some not so expensive varieties just to see how tough they were.  I'll record some results on this but the casualties were much more strongly correlated to variety than to treatment.  Some of you who have been growing Hostas for years already knew that, but for we novices, it's an interesting revelation.  This procedure is RISKY and not recommended, but I was just being curious.

My current estimate of total necrosis is about 2-3% from the wintering over endeavor.  I'm keeping track of the hits, by cultivar, with  some diffentiating via conjecture as to cause of death and I'll have a final tally in about one week.  Like I said, a very high percentage had to do with a carry over from using the wrong potting mix early last spring (I had just not gotten around to repotting all of them).

Finally, "Don't take too much advice from an annuals grower if you're growing perennials".  Once again, "no duh", and at my age you'd think I'd know better...!

Hosta la Vista!

Andrew Lietzow
#1 Plantsman at http://hostahaven.com
1250 41st St
Des Moines, IA 50311-2516

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