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Re: 2003 Registrations

  • Subject: Re: 2003 Registrations
  • From: "Andrew Lietzow" <alietzow@myfamily.com>
  • Date: 7 Jun 2004 07:39:04 -0600

Bill Meyer, and list, 

RE:>>Rather it should use "(pod parent) Seedling", which would mean "possible hybrid".
Excellent point.  

It should be fairly simple to determine whether an "Unknown Hybrid" was, in fact, an Hybrid with an unknown pollen parent or a plant that has been selfed.   A simple DNA weighting analysis, via flow cytometry, could verify whether the F1 was an outcross or self-pollinated.   Ben Z. had indicated a while back that he would perform such a test at N/C, if the plant were shipped to Leiden.  I have stated that if the timing is right, I would do so for $11, with prior arrangement. 

Of course, the motivation to perform the test is low (for many hybridizers) so the listing of "Unknown Hybrid" will forever be assigned to that cultivar, at least on the printed page.  It's good that the errata gets published, and my hat is off to Kevin and all of the AHS registration authorities for helping to make this happen, yet the likelihood of that information being transferred to the main entry page in each or our registration books is quite slim.  I believe Marvin Lemke does this, but does anyone else?  

Such questions need to be resolved prior to the plant being registered, IMO.  

Fortunately, In another 100 years (or 10?), the registrar will have a specialized piece of assaying gear with which he/she can sample the plant's molecular ID.  The DNA weight and various sequencing data will be obtained, verifying claims of the registrant--perhaps some species lineage info as well as confirming parentage.  

The sequencing test would be as simple as that done for paternity tests on humans. This will be a service provided by the registrar, for a nominal surcharge.  All plants being registered would go through this ID'ing process.  

Thus, if someone sends in a leaf that they claim was an hybrid, yet the DNA weighting is 22.5pg and the pod parent DNA weight was 22.5 pg, the registrar would request more information prior to authorizing the registration.   This type of result would lead one to believe, and the hunch would be highly probable, that the registrant  is under the wrong impression about the pollen parent.  

Fortunately, the entire Hosta genome will have been sequenced and it will be much simpler to ascertain parentage.    All we have to do is wait for that 100 years to pass ... 

The practical benefits from obtaining such data even NOW should be self-evident.   Perhaps Ben Zonneveld will comment on this, or already has?  

We could, of course, begin adding DNA weight datum to the registration database NOW, for currently assayed plants.  Easy?  No.  Important?  Yes. Otherwise, we'll continue to believe such plants as H. 'Hirao Tetra' are tetraploid for decades when it has been shown to be otherwise.  

Errors in the taxonomic identification process inhibit Hybridizers in their pursuit of controling the production of higher quality cultivars, which is the goal of serious Hybridizers.     

9 days until convention time.   

The Scientific Speaker time slot is for Wednesday, at 5:00-6:00PM--Shelby room.  Don't know the format or whom it is that will speak.  However, any interested party can "talk science" in MY garden anytime from 8:30AM-4:00PM on Wednesday, or 7:30 AM until 2:00PM on Sunday, or when we bump into each other at the convention.  

I'm real keen on learning all I can about producing genetically controlled, higher quality hybrids, in addition to enjoying nice looking Hostas... 


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