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HYB: Chromosome Counts

From: Sharon McAllister <73372.1745@compuserve.com>

Message text written by Jan Clark:
Christy, can you tell us more about Chromosome counts? (or does anyone else
on list have any information?)
Is an electron microscope required, or can they be done on a standard
laboratory microscope? (Lab microscopes are probably quite different to
what I remember 20 years ago)
They can certainly be done on a standard laboratory microscope.  Even a
"student" microscope is good enough to determine ploidy -- but I wouldn't
recommend that alternative.  I used it because I already had one.  Had I
gone seriously into chromosome counting, I'd certainly have stepped up to a
higher quality instrument.

>  My oldest daughter is a research pharmacologist, so has access to
equipment at work, and sufficient expertise. Second daughter is doing a
science course at Uni. If it is not terribly complex, I may be able to
persuade one of them to help me out. 
I would need to know a bit about taking sections, staining etc. Also
depends on how time consuming it would be. 

Howard's article covers all you need about growing the root tips, taking
sections, preparing slides, staining, etc., etc., etc. 

>  I feel that only a few fertile IB's would need to be counted to start to
give a general picture of what is happening at the cellular level.
This would be a very interesting project.

Enough has already been done to paint a general picture.  There are certain
crosses, however, that can yield different types of plants depending on
what happens on meiosis.  Those are the ones whose chromosome counts
provide the most insight to new developments.

Sharon McAllister

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