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RE: [Aroid-l] Konjac bloom question

  • Subject: RE: [Aroid-l] Konjac bloom question
  • From: "Charles Gramling" <chazmg1@citlink.net>
  • Date: Mon, 7 May 2007 15:00:19 -0500
  • Content-language: en-us
  • Thread-index: AceQyaoZ0FBAwNGpS5qJNdRQK8XygQAFj4aQ

Thanks to all for some pointers on where to look. I would not have thought
putrescine and cadaverine would have been the names coined, and
appropriately so, for the compounds that make up the aroma. It still amazes
me that you could almost see the stalk growing, putting it somewhere between
the weeds in my garden and a snail. The heat the spadix generates is just
icing on the unusual process. 

I had the tuber in my store during the growth phase and it attracted much
attention and comment. On Monday of last week after reaching 35" the dead
mouse smell, or so it seemed to me (I know that one well), was more than
appropriate and I moved it outdoors until Friday. The bloom was still in
pretty good shape almost 1 week later which was surprising. It is also fun
to tell folks who the beastie's relatives are. All in all a very satisfying

Chuck Gramling

-----Original Message-----
From: aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com [mailto:aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com]
On Behalf Of Douglas Ewing
Sent: Monday, May 07, 2007 11:17 AM
To: Discussion of aroids
Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Konjac bloom question

Chuck, much of what is known about this process was started by work done 
by the late Baastian Meeuse who did his research primarily on Sauromatum 
guttatum here at the Univ. of Washington.  Hanna Skubatch worked with 
him near the end of his life, and 
continued on with investigating this process.

You will find publications that deal with the unusual respiratory pathway 
that the mitochondria that are concentrated in the spadix utilize to 
produce heat.

Meeuse was born in the early 1900s in Bogor, Indonesia ( Dutch colony at 
that time). His family returned to the Netherlands for his high school and 
university training. He joined the faculty of the Dept. of Botany here in 
the early 1950's. Throughout his life, he remained a passionate 
student ( and teacher)  of all aspects of biology, but he had a particular 
fondness for pollination systems, biochemistry, and aroids.

I remember him with fondness,       Doug


Doug Ewing, Greenhouse Manager (206) 543-0436
Department of Biology
University of Washington
Box 351800
24 Kincaid Hall ( for UPS and FEDEX)
Seattle, WA   98195-1800

On Sun, 6 May 2007, Peter Matthews wrote:

> Dear Chuck,
> I think one of the main authors on the biochemistry of aroid flowering
> (generation of heat and aromatic compounds by the spadix) is Meuse
> (spelling?).
> My own specimen of konjac has just flowered here in Kyoto (now beginning
> to decay, 5th May), after an unusually warm winter.
> Peter
> On 5/2/2007, "Charles Gramling" <chazmg1@citlink.net> wrote:
>> I have just experienced my first bloom. While reading about the amazing
>> growth is one thing, seeing it is something else. I have not seen any
>> discussion of what occurs that allows that amazing conversion of stored
>> energy in to the flower. I almost thought that the tuber itself should be
>> warm with the effort. Is there anything available on this process and
>> compounds are released during the bloom?
>> Chuck Gramling
> _______________________________________________
> Aroid-l mailing list
> Aroid-l@gizmoworks.com
> http://www.gizmoworks.com/mailman/listinfo/aroid-l
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