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Re: HYBRIDIZING - Help me Bill Shear or somebody!!!

From: Bill Shear <BILLS@hsc.edu>

>From: ItsRoTalk@aol.com

> Pretending that I have successfully pollinated a flower, and that a seed pod
>has resulted, will all the seeds in that pod produce the same flower?

No, not if the parents are hybrids.  They contain a mixture of genes and
new combinations will occur in the offspring, so not only will the
offspring differ from one another, they will also differ from the parents.
However, it is likely that there will be resemblances among them and to the

> Which leads me to my next question...How long can you store Iris seeds and
>what would be the best way to store them?

Iris seeds can be stored for quite some time, certainly a year.  Some
people think that germination percentages are increased by storage, but
others say the opposite and plant all seeds as soon as ripe.

> My final questions are about naturally occuring seed pods. I must have tossed
>about 50 of these things this year! I'm curious to know if anyone ever plants
>these seeds and if so, what kind of information do you keep about them? Also
>wondering if there was any chance in heck of having a seedling from one of
>these pods registered with AIS (assuming you got something exciting) when you
>have no paternal information?

In the case of volunteer pods, only the pollen-parent is unknown.  So far
as I know this is not a barrier to AIS registration and in the case of many
older siberian iris varieties, only the pod-parent is known.

> One last thing, which I just thought of (Ha!). If a flower pollinates itself,
>will the resulting seeds be copies of the parent? I guess that should have
>been asked with the first questions but...I really did just think of it!!

If the parent is a hybrid, the results will be similar to a cross between
two different varieties, but one might expect somewhat less of range of
variation among the offspring.  The problem with this procedure is that it
sometimes brings together recessive alleles (forms of genes) that are not

Hope this helps.  Others may supply more detail later.  There's a good
chapter on this in THE GARDENER'S IRIS BOOK, though it doesn't go into
genetics, etc.

Bill Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943
FAX (804)223-6374

Best book title this week: TREADMILL TO OBLIVION, the autobiography of
radio comedian Fred Allen.

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