In a long post of Feb. 24, on the AHS Robin, John Lanier raised a
question about the importance of cultural practices on the degree of
branching and proliferation on shoots from young tissue culture plants
in thier first growing season. This subject was discussed only recently
in my post of Feb 06 on the hosta-open, so I will copy to hosta-open
John Lanier "asked for help from Jim Hawes". He wants me to step and
serve as referee ( a person to whom a technical matter is referred to be
settled)???In a dispute with Chick Wasitis???
I suppose I must because I consider both John and Chick very good
friends. Each are outstanding people in my view. John has exceptional
talents in tissue culture and Chick his talents as a leading
nurseryman, hybridizer and introducer of outstanding new hosta plants in
I have never visited Chick's nursery but I know where it is near
Annapolis, Maryland. I lived in the area for about 40 years growing F1
snapdragons in greenhouses as a wholesale cutflower producer. I know
Chick from meeting him at Hostas in Focus in Northern Virginia in
John I know, having visited his tc lab and greenhouse near Burnsville NC
on three occasions...each several hours each time. John is doing a
wonderful job tc'ing hostas for several leading nursery people.He
understands tc technolgy better than I. He has done more of it and has
proven to all that he knows how to micropropagate hostas very well.
John has asked my advice on a couple of technical details in tc. I have
given him my best adcice which consisted mostly of explanations of "why"
one does one thing rather than another. Am I qualified to give John
advise?...not hardly. But I am a plant physiologist and have a good
background on scientific workings of plants.
If there is a conflict or disagreement on a technical matter between
John and Chick, I will be happy to step in as a big brother to try to
resolve the disagreement between two smaller brothers...but that's funny
because John is more than six feet tall and strong as an ox. I must be
careful there...right John???
I think the possible disagreement is based on the meaning of words. I
suggest both parties refer to a post of Feb 6,1999 15:33 entitled Re:
Hormones. In it I was addressing a question raised by Rich Horowitz who
had asked about soaking buds in cytokinins to improve bud formation.
I stated in this post, para 6, the following... "The plant's natural
response to cutting rhizome tissue appears to me to be to adjust its
levels of natural cytokinins and hormones within the rhizome tissue so
that there is a balance of these two hormones to allow normal growth to
occur the next growing season. One should remember that high auxin
concentrations INHIBITS growth of buds and high concentrations of
cytokinins PROMOTES growth of buds (WITH ALL OTHER FACTORS BEING OPTIMUM
OR CONSTANT). Thus the balance (or ratio) between cytokinins and auxins
is so very important in normal meristem growth. This is one of the basic
principles involved in development of the best protocols and techniques
of successful tc micropropagation".
I believe that John understands the above statement very well and has
used this as a reference point for his arguments. The phrase (WITH ALL
OTHER FACTORS BEING OPTIMUM OR CONSTANT) probably means to John that
optimum cultural emvironmment is very important in further growth and
development of tc liners. I agree with John that this was the intended
meaning of these words. Perhaps Chick did not understand the meaning I
intended in this phrase...or did not take much note of it.
But Hey!!!I'm just the referee. Maybe I'm calling the play wrong. In
that case, you can fire me. But I hope we are still good friends.
Jim Hawes, Referee
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