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RE: colchicine

Briefly, I am trying to answer many of your questions this summer / winter

> potential for tetraploid hostas?  
This is a market question, and I am not the hosta market expert.

> Are the conversions you are getting 
> showing any significent attraction that will make average gardeners  
> covet them?  
I see the typical thick leaves and thick flower petals, at least in the
converted generation.  I do not yet have seeds from converted plants to know
what is going forward.  

> It seems to me that converted hostas will have 
> more value 
> as breeding stock than for use in a garden, which is what we find in 
> daylilies.  However, if hostas have unreduced gametes, it seems to me 
> that a few converted tets used with hostas producing 
> unreduced gametes 
> would be the easiest path for developing tetraploid hostas.
Agreed.  If there is value in the tet hostas.  

> However, there is one other concern.  In daylilies the fertility of 
> the early converted material and their early decends were quite 
> limited.  However, over time fertility increases and now tetraploid 
> daylilies are quite fertile.  The same may be true for hostas, but I 
> see a secondary problem with tet hostas that are not present in other 
> genera.  Diploid hostas with 60 chromosomes are probably already a 
> amphidiploid, so doubling them up to 120 chromosmes will make for a 
> lot of crowding in the nucleus.  There is a lot of potential for 
> chromosome abnormalities at the tet level that can result in 
> all kinds 
> of fertility problems.
Good possibility.  Right now, who knows?  That's why I am checking.  

I have conversions of Blue Boy and Permanent Wave coming into bloom in the
greenhouse now.  The flower buds may or may not have been converted
themselves, but if they show the thick petal characteristic, I will include
a picture in a post to the hosta Robins.  The other conversions have not yet
thrown up flower spikes.  

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