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Re: chromosomes

Jeepers, Joe.  "NOT a botanist" and pure nonsense".   You really know how to encourage a fella to undertake more research for the good of the genus, and for the benefit of Hostaphiles everywhere.   My question to you then--if it is indeed rather elementary to perform this work, utilizing equipment that is readily available through a high school botany lab, why did Mr. Hirao's claim of tetraploid conversion through the use of colchicine go unchallenged for so long?   (See Ben's article on Flow Cytometric analysis).  Or was this ascertion challenged but definitive results not widely publicized?  

I don't know whether Ben is a Botanist, or whether his statement is pure nonsense, but I do know that you probably should not run for a political office.  Diplomacy, Joe; a little diplomacy.   I'll let Ben defend his position that H. 'Sum & Substance' could not have H. ventricosa as a parent... and that the DNA of the progeny is roughly equivalent to the average DNA content of the parent.   Some corroborative or refuting evidence would be nice ... Do you have something to offer that could prove elucidative?   Can you refer me/us to a protocol for staining that would help some of those less skilled to perform our own analysis?

I would be interested to know some of the basics, as well as specifics.

TIA and Hosta la Vista! :-)

Andrew L.

halinar@open.org wrote:


>Of course it is possible to look at the chromosomes and count them,
>after coloring with Feulgen reagens. I have done that in houseleeks
>BUT it is very laborious. Only cells that happen to be in mitose can
>be counted that means a lot of searching through cut or crushed

It is obvious that you are NOT a botanist!  Granted, it does take some
time to do a proper chromosome count, but it is NOT difficult to do.
I don't know about over there in Holland, but here in the USA we teach
high schools kids how to do chromosome counts!  All you have to do Ben
is take some actively growing root tips, do the necessary maceration
and then stain it.  You can do a quick count in as little as 30
minutes!  If you go to your university library you will find books on
plant microtechniques that explains how to do it in detail.

Granted, flow cytometry is a very quick means for getting a good idea
of what a plants ploidy level is, but if you want to be absolutely
accurate you really need to do a chromosome count.

>If ventricosa (41pg) crosses with another tetraploid plant like some
>Fortuneis (51) the tetraploid offspring will have 1/2 (41 + 51) =
>46pg. If ventricosa crosses with a diploid plant let say sieboldiana
>(25pg) the triploid ofspring will have 1/2 (41+25)=33 pg So this
>excludes ventricosa as a parent for S&S (39)

Ben, this is pure nonsense to say such-and-such is or isn't a parent
of such-and-such a hosta based on the amount of DNA in the nucellus.
It many be additional evidence, but you really need a lot of other
morphological, anatomical and karyotype data before you can make any
claims for parentage.

Joe Halinar

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