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Re: Rules?? of thumb

  • Subject: Re: Rules?? of thumb
  • From: "Bill Meyer" <njhosta@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2004 10:00:38 -0400

Hi Ben,
       If we stick to selfing, it will still prove true that a percentage
ranging from 1:50 to 1:1,000+ of gold or variegated seedlings will come from
almost any green plant, whether it be a pure species form or a hybrid. On
another list you said:

"The nuclear DNA content of Lakeside Black Satin is identical to
that of H ventricosa. So LBS is a dark form of it, not a hybrid with
anything else
Ben J.M.Zonneveld"

      I was wondering if you also tested any of the yellow forms of
ventricosa. If these have proven by your DNA content analysis to be pure
ventricosa (and not a hybrid with a another yellow plant), I think it is
proven that green plants do yield a percentage of gold seedlings. At least
half a dozen yellow ventricosa seedlings have been named, and doubtless many
others were not thought good enough to name. Most of the evidence we have to
work from comes from hybridizes who tend to dispose of weak and unattractive
plants, and those usually outnumber the strong attractive ones.
     Mary Chastain has worked with ventricosa far more than anyone else.
Mary, could you tell us how many times you see gold or variegated seedlings
in the offspring from your dark ventricosa lines? I'm guessing they'll be in
the 1:100 range. Some green plants do seem to give nothing but green
seedlings, but these have been rare for me. Most have had the odd variegated
or gold in the batch. I have gold hypoleuca, nigrescens, pycnophila,
longipes, yingeri, and other pure species plants here. All came from green
parents when there were no gold forms of the same species here to pollinate
them. Gold seedlings from all-green parents are fairly common, hardly a
1:1,000,000 sort of rarity like twin spots. Most of the seed batches we
raise are in the 50-500 range from a single pod parent. For yellow or
variegated seedlings to be common in batches of this size, they cannot be
considered any great rarity. Unfortunately we can't send pictures here, but
I do have pictures of said gold single-species plants. These were only the
ones worth keeping, and there were numerous others that were culled because
of poor quality. Of the species, yingeri seems to give the highest average
percentage of yellow seedlings from green plants.
     Regarding no blue seedlings coming from green plants, this is
definitely incorrect. The blue color is dependent on sieboldiana heritage,
but once we have that, any plant whether it be blue, green, gold, or
variegated will yield blue seedlings. For example, we could take one of the
green seedlings from the hypothetical blue plant in your example. As the
presence of sieboldiana was apparently there in the parent (blue color),
there is no reason to assume that offspring of the green seedling will not
include some blue ones. In all liklihood there will be a significant number
of them. I have seen this before, and expect to see it again with seedlings
of that background.
     Hostas are very unusual plants and there seem to be few rules without
exceptions. It is not possible to make sweeping generalizations about them
as exceptions have more become the rule. To say "When selfed, green plants
give 100% green", you imply that a batch of 1,000 seedlings of any green
plant (selfed) will reliably yield 1,000 green seedlings. In the experience
of myself and many others, there are very few plants that will do this.
Almost all of them will have some yellow or variegated seedlings in a batch
of 1,000. If you grow 100,000 seedlings of a particular plant, you should
have a pretty good batch of yellow and variegated ones to select from. The
percentage of yellow or variegated seedlings seems to vary from year to year
as well in a particular plant. About the only thing that remains certain
with hostas is that nothing is ever certain, and that few rules are not
broken repeatedly.
     This is also true of many other genera - variegated or gold forms can
often be found among seed-raised plants. Impatiens frequently produce
variegated seedlings, for example. I have seen possibly as many as 100 of
these in local garden centers. In most cases, these seem to be sports which
mutated very early in the plant's development, sometimes by the first
leaf/leaves. It seems more that they pass on some genetic instability to
their offspring rather than variegation directly.
                                                 ........Bill Meyer

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "zonneveld" <zonneveld@rulbim.leidenuniv.nl>
To: <hosta-open@hort.net>
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2004 3:49 AM
Subject: Rules?? of thumb

> These rules of thumb are only thrue if open polllinated but anything
> might happen then depending on the others flowering.
>  When selfed, green plants give 100% green. Blue plant usually  fifty
> procent blue and 50 % green. Yellow plants will give 67 %  yellow and 33
> % green. Only yellow plants will give yellow ofspring  a blue or a green
> will never do , unless fertilized by a yellow plant(  or a very rare
> mutation)
> <Green hostas will usually produce green offspring, > Blue hostas  will
> produce some blue, some green, and some gold offspring. > Gold  hostas
> will
> produce some blue, some green, and some gold offspring. >  Edged
> variegated
> hostas will NOT produce variegated offspring. > Only hostas that  have
> white streaks (streaky) in the center of the leaf will produce
> variegated
> offspring. > White centered hostas will produce all white hostas  which
> usually die in the seed pots due to a lack of chlorophyll. > > Seems
> likely that white centered plants are coming more from TC labs,
> naturally
> occuring sports, and some mutations. > -
>  Ben J.M.Zonneveld Institute of Biology,Leiden University, Clusius lab
> Wassenaarse weg 64, 2333 AL Leiden, The Netherlands
> Zonneveld@rulbim.Leidenuniv.NL Fax: +31-71-5274999. min temp -10C (15F)
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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