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Re: yellow color in Hosta


Jim:

>In fact, yellow variegations are often hard to see in the lab.  The 
>yellow color develops only after the plant is put into high light 
>conditions.  This would seem to be counter to your argument about the 
>yellow color and its conversion requiring sunlight.

Actually, not really.  Some plants need light to trigger the final 
conversion of chlorophyll precursor to chlorophyll.  However, in a 
yellow leaved hosta it is most likely a dominant inhibitor that is 
blocking the final conversion of percursor to chlorophyll.  I suspect 
this inhibitor is probably present in different allelic forms.  Many 
of these inhibitor genes in plants are temperature sensitive.  I had a 
terrible problem with this in doing studies of anthocyanidin 
pigmentation in carrot roots.  When we would cut the roots in the 
field the carrots might be light purple, but after they were in cold 
storage a few weeks they would be dark purple.  Some hostas start out 
green and turn yellow later in the summer when the temperatures get 
warmer and in others they start out yellow and get more green as the 
summer progresses.  This could be a combination of temperature, light 
levels and diferent alleles of the inhibitor.  

Joe Halinar

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