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Re: HYB: tetraploids, Diploids, Triploids etc

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: HYB: tetraploids, Diploids, Triploids etc
  • From: John Montgomery <monashee@junction.net>
  • Date: Sat, 2 May 1998 11:15:43 -0600 (MDT)

Dennis Kramb wrote:
I presume that colchicine is a chemical of some sort, and that if you treat

> newly sprouted seedlings with it, it somehow manages to double up the
> chromosomes if you're lucky.  I think there is a pretty low success rate
> with this treatment though.  Some seedlings die.  Some seedlings are not
> converted.  Some seedlings are converted, but revert back to diploids over
> time.  Beyond that vague bit of information, I know nothing about it or how
> it works.  Hybridizers use this to create tetraploids (amphidiploids?) from
> diploid crosses.

Colchicine is derived from the Colchicum plant and is not a substance to be fooled
around with, unless you understand the damage the it cam inflict on human cells.
This is not a "scare message" but just a request that you work very carefully with

Lily hybridizers have pretty well given up on colchicine and are using Oryzalin
instead. It is reputed to be more effective, easier to use, much safer and it is
easy to get. Oryzalin is the active chemical in the herbicide 'Surflan'.

I posted a message detailing how it is used on lilies and it can be found in the
archives in MAR 97 under the topic - Colchicine - an alternative?

I am not into doing conversions to tetraploidy but it would be interesting if some
iris converters were to try adapting rhe method to iris.

John Montgomery
Vernon  BC  Zone 5

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