Re: TC and OS
Dear hosta friends,
The original reference within the last couple of days to "originators
stock" was that of Chick's in which he, tongue-in- cheek, requested
large mature clumps of originator's stock of Herb Benedict's and Mildred
Seaver's hostas to conduct some undisclosed research. He also asked for
This banter between Chick and I evolved into a question, "What is the
difference between 'originator stock" and "non-originator stock"? Chick
then referred to the fact that H.'June' originated in tissue culture.
The email conversation then evolved into a series of questions about the
differences between tc origin plants and originator stock plants. A
question was asked...if OS was not indicated , did it come from tc? A
series of opinions were expressed. IMHO, we are getting far afield from
the truth, dear friends. In my opinion, the questions can not be
answered correctly without an agreed-upon definition of terms. In this
regard, I agree largely with Chick.
If it is agreed that OS is to represent a cultivar that can be proven to
have come from the originator of the cultivar, then we must define
"originator". Is the originator an importer of a species? or a green
cultivar? or an variegated "unstable" cultivar? or a package of seed of
a species? or one seed of a hybrid? a hosta hybridizer who produces a
unique seedling? a nurseryman who finds a unique sport? a gardener a
1000 miles away who finds an apparent identical sport in the same year?
or the following year? or a tc lab operator who finds a unique sport?
I suggest that an originator can be all of these.
If a cultivar with specific phenotypic characteristics, proven to
originate with a specific person( Mr Jones) is tissue cultured, is the
perpetuation of this phenotype ( as well as the genetic makeup of the
genotype) identical to OS divisions when it is tissue cultured? For one
year? for 10 years? Will it stay identical until it changes via the
phenomenon we call a bud sport? If Mr. Jones' cultivar(OS) changes via
this phenomenon in his garden, is the resulting sport still OS? I could
think up more questions, but I think you get my point.
If a person can not answer all of these questions correctly, he can't
make valid decisions on the various shades of meaning regarding OS,
divisions, proliferations of explants in TC, sports in a garden, plants
propagated by leaf bud cuttings, sports in a tissue culture lab or even
in a greenhouse.
Get with it folks! Do your homework, learn the differences. Figure out
about the origin of sports and you will be able to answer the questions
There will be a pop quiz tomorrow!
Jim Hawes Oakland MD
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