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Re: RE: HYB - Embryo Rescue

GormleyGreenery@aol.com wrote:
If anyone is interested, I published an anecdotal report of one of the 
failures in the Review of the Society for Japanese Irises a few years ago.

  I'm interested.
  My experience is not with iris.  
  I didn't find embryo rescue difficult, but I was working in a lab with all the bells and whistles.  And I was a (minor) part of a network of groups from Japan, two in USA, one in Swedan, a big one in Mexico (CYMMET), and probably some I don't remember now.  All were working on the problem of bringing genes from other grasses to wheat and rye.  
We weren't actually trying to transfer genes, just learning how to do it better.
  I got to do the embryo rescue work under a stereoscopic microscope, all under sterile conditions.  Most of us don't have those at home.
  A couple of us tried to figure out once, how much was being spent per mature hybrid plant.  We guessed about $40,000 in wages per adult plant.  That was in 1977, when $40,000 was $40,000.  We had no idea how much the chemicals and other equipment was worth.  And several of us were unpaid students.
  This doesn't mean that iris plants would be $40,000 each.  Mass production has reduced costs a lot.  But there is a cost.  And the recipes has been worked out pretty well, at least for bearded iris, including arils.  I don't know about other iris.
  One difference between embryo culture and embryo rescue is that embryo rescue often does require assorted hormones.  Basicly, you are making an artificial endosperm for the embryo.  And if you are trying to rescue really young embryoes, you have to mimic the changes the endosperm would have gone through as the embryo matures.
  We were using modified MS medium.  Part of the modification was the addition of milk protein (casin) that had been digested down to it's amino acids.  This was because we were going for embryoes so immature that they had to have a balance of free amino acids to grow on, as well as sugars, and fertilizers, all balanced completely.
  What I've read of iris embryo culture and embryo rescue wasn't done on such tiny embryoes.  And usually it doesn't need to be.

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