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Re: sports

James M. Anderson wrote:
> Ran,
> I am not sure I agree with you about the dormant bud observation.  All buds
> in Hosta are dormant until they grow.  I am sure you know that Hosta growth
> is typified by a lateral bud developing into a strong leader that we see as
> a shoot. 
Yes, It is part of what I teach in the Bud Isolation process.
by adding BAP to the culture medium.  We
> are not inducing the truly dormant axially buds (those that do not swell)
> any more than natural growth does.
That is intresting.  I am not sure where one differentiates between the
"truly dorment buds" and "dorment buds".  It was my impression that the
noton on the part of many who use "BAP" was that very dorment buds are
being "pushed".
 Now, some technical stuff.  Under controlled conditions, TC should work
> described in the above paragraph.  However, we do not live in an ideal
> world.  The growth conditions that we provide the plants are, obviously, not
> perfect and we can get greedy and try to push the plants too hard (altering
> phytohormone concentrations and some other things).  Under these conditions
> we get what is called bud proliferation (hundreds of buds formed in a mass
> which at the extreme are called bud balls).
This phenomenon, has plegued the production of Rhododendrons also.  In
fact to the point where some Tc production of them was stopped a few
years ago.  I sometimes get hostas where this seems to be taking place
long after they are out of the lab.  I also believe I have induced the
process chemically in my garden.
 The amount of bud proliferation
> is variety dependent, and is most often seen on new explants.  It can be
> easily missed if not watched for.  This technique is used in many plants to
> get mass production of the plant (Bananas for example).  When we grew some
> venus fly traps we could get up to 250 plants from a single jar.  Hosta
> would be a lot less expensive if we could use this technique.  It is a
> danger in Hosta production (and probably day lilies as well) because it
> leads to so many off types.  We discard any cultures that form any bud
> proliferation. Even a small amount of proliferation (which can be hard to
> see) can really mess up a line.
> I know that as a lab gets large, it can get harder to control the variables
> that can lead to problems (such as bud proliferation), and some labs clearly
> do not seem to care that much about product.
That is exactly my contention , and the reason for my notion that what
needs to be said of Tc is that there are many more "sports" than one in
ten thousand and as a result some may get through to the grower.  Many
growers seem to be operating under the thinking that they have only to
rush a plant to market , and take the resulting profits.  Somewhere we
are (in some cases) loosing the idea, that the ultimate responsibility
for marketing the correct plant , belongs to the grower/retailer.
In the Hosta business, you can
> end up with a mess if you let things get out of hand.  I am amazed at what I
> see at the Horticultural trade shows.  All yellow Francis Williams, So Sweet
> with a very thin variegation, and that yellow Gold Standard.  I could go on,
> but you get the point.  Do not get me wrong, I am not bad mouthing the other
> Hosta labs that you are familiar with, but there are many other labs
> (foreign and domestic) that are beginning to produce Hosta with mixed
> results.  How does a lab in India (I am not picking on one country here)
> know how to cull a Hosta that will not even grow there?
Many of us had this problems with Holland labs, to the point where I
simply gave up on them.
>  I agree with you that it is the responsibility of the TC lab to produce good
> culled plants, but that is an ideal that will probably not be reached in
> today's market.  The nature of TC will produce some bad plants from time to
> time, and I wait in fear for the time that I sell something that is clearly
> not true to form.
> Jim Anderson
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