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Potato beetle could be thwarted through gene manipulation

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The American Gardener---some highlights--the times they are a changin

Here's a few items that caught my attention in Sept/Oct 2000 "The American
Gardener", The magazine of the American Horticultural Society.

1)Burpee and Heronswood merge--W. Atlee Burpee and Company has merged with
Heronswood Nursery. Heronswood Nursery, owned by Dan Hinkley and Robert
Jones is teaming up with Burpee and Co. Hinkley is quoted as saying "This
will allow us greater flexibility in evaluating the plants and getting
sufficient numbers built up to offer to a broader audience." And "Robert and
I are excited by this because it will allow us to relax and live our lives a
little bit." Page 10

2)Chlorpryrifos, the active ingredient in Dursban and many other pesticides
will be taken off of the consumer market 12/31/2000. Chlorpyrifos will
remain available for various nonresidential uses such as in ornamental
nurseries and all crops except tomatoes. Check out the EPA's web site at
www.epa.gov/pesticides .Page 11.

3)Asian lady beetles brought to U.S. for biological control of insect pest
since the early 20th century may be displacing populations of native lady
beetles. In the urban habitat Asian lady beetles are now the predominant
lady beetle and seek warm buildings to over winter earning them the name
"beneficial nuisance". Page 15.

4)Genetically Engineered Plants---A gene gun is used to shoot microscopic
DNA coated gold beads into the host plant cell and then grown to size using
plant tissue culture technology.
**Genes that create fungi killing emzymes in rice have been established in
roses resulting in a 43% reduction in the fungus caused disease, blackspot.
**Genes from an artic flounder(fish) that produce a protein that inhibits
ice crystal formation have been introduced into a tomato. This is expected
to reduce freeze damage and increase frost resistance.
**A gene from a petunia has produced a violet-blue carnation flower.
**A gene from corn put into a petunia has created a unique violet-red
**A plant genome project similar to the human genome project is well under
way. Page 20.
**Bt in corn, potatoes and cotton. Roundup Ready corn and soybeans.

Genetically modified hostas are on their way. I bet Burpee has a gene gun!

5)Cell mutations are common in tissue cultures but are a grist mill for the
plant breeder. From these mutations many new varieties arise. Mutations
occur in tissue culture and are called somaclonal variations. Cell fusion
can unite two non-reproductive cells of different species to create a
replication cell that contains genetic information from both of the
unrelated parent cells. Such combinations are otherwise impossible.

The American Horticultural Society's web site is: WWW.AHS.ORG

Subscribe. They even mention a hosta now and then.

Dan Nelson
Sussex Tree Inc.
Bridgeville DE

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