Fw: SEX (reproductive physiology)
Question for you seasoned experts and plant reproductive physiologists:
Do all hosta have the same number of "eggs" (ovules) in the developing
and maturing ovary? Are all varieties the same or does it vary by
species? Does each ovary start out with the same potential for number of
seeds? To quote W. Geo Schmid in "The Genus Hosta," pg 364: "The ovary
has three cavities (locules) in which the ovules are arranged in two rows
attached to the central axis of the ovary." This can be seen later in
the mature pod, with its three "chambers" of ripening seed and two rows
of seed in each chamber. That I understand. However, do the pods set
out with the same potential number of seeds? (Am I repeating myself?)
It is assumed that the number of ovules that get pollinated depends on
many factors as in other plants, such as corn and other flowering plants:
temperature, winds, available plants nutrients, general plant health,
age/maturity of plant, and in the case of Hosta, the availability of
insects to do the pollinating.......and I am sure there are many other
factors. What is the average expected yield of number of viable seeds
per pod? Is there great variability from plant to plant, year to year,
cultivar to cultivar, species to species?
I think I understand that the genetic material in each ovule is different
from all others in the ovary, thus the variability of seedlings from the
same pod - or is that dependant upon the pollen characteristics - or
both. Can one of you geneticists/hybridizers straighten me out.
I have seen many articles referring to the life expectancy of pollen and
how to preserve it for later use; but, how long is an individual hosta
flower fertile and when is its peak time of fertility?? Do all
varieties, with the exception of the plantaginea group that open in late
pm or evening, have flowers that open in the early morning?"
I would appreciate any references to readings and/or research articles
that cover any of the above points.
I have been searching for more information for some time and only now in
frustration turn to you experts in the field. Can you tell I am anxious
to start some hybridizing activities in 1999? I await your thoughtful
answers and, in anticipation, thank you for your responses.
With all the ice and snow in central Ohio and winter weather conditions,
I cancelled office hours for the first time in 10 yrs. Also, The Ohio St
Univ closed for first time in 21 yrs - the blizzard of '78. Remember it
well. Leaves some time for contemplation and thinking.
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