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Re: Question

Bill, I would be surprised if there was that much communication between plant and scape.  Over the past month I've been experimenting with numerous cut scapes in sugar water and have been amazed at how 'normally' both buds and pods develop without any connection to the plant.  Bud 'sets' open in synchronicity at night, pods form, seeds develop... 

It's almost as if the scape is just a straw through which buds/pods derive sugars and water.  When a bud or pod stops 'sucking through the straw' (for whatever reason), it withers.  Often the scape also withers from the top down to the uppermost pod still actively drawing nourishment through the scape.

I wonder if KR simply has faulty genes for developing seed pods and the scape withers because no nutrients are being drawn up through the scape... and gravity causes the top portion to dry out first.  Speculation sure is fun, ain't it?  ; )

Have you ever tried a cut KR scape with pods in sugar water?  If pods developed normally, it might suggest that the plant is aborting the entire scape for some reason.

--John Christensen
Ann Arbor, MI, Zone 5

Bill wrote:

<<The problem with KR doesn't lie in failure to set pods, I've done this repeatedly with hand-pollenation. What happens is that the scape dies back before the pods mature. I think in normal plants the pods that are developing viable seed let out some kind of hormonal signal that "tells" the plant not to abort the scape. In KR, this seems to be missing, so that even though viable seed is developing in more than one pod, the scape just starts turning brown from the top down soon after it ceases flowering.>>

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