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Apples and Bananas Part 2

Hi Andrew,
        As we all know there are differences between the off-white variegation in streaked hostas which is passed on through the pod parent only, and the gold/yellow tissue of gold hostas which may possibly be transferred through the pollen. The gold plants are not variegated to begin with, but solid color forms which may sport later. I say it may be passed through the pollen because no one has done any significant research in this. To really arrive at some understanding of whether this is the case, quite a few crosses would have to be made, using a number of different parents. Most green hosta will give some gold offspring, whatever they are crossed with, so tests would involve selfing to determine the base percentage of the green and gold seedlings (say 1000 seedlings), then crossing with pollen from a gold parent (another 1000 seedlings) and comparing the results. This should be done with a number of parents with differing backgrounds to see if the first case was representative. Kevin Vaughn did a small amount of this work in a time when few plants were available, and drew limited conclusions.  A more extensive test should be done before we start deciding what the rules are. Perhaps you or someone else with some extra room under the lights might consider doing this and photographing the results. To get the necessary number of seedlings, you would need to have a number of each plant to be used. I'm volunteering you because you have a nursery with large batches of plants to work with and covered space to protect them from insect interference. With these results we could reach some much better conclusions than we can with what we currently have to work with.
                                                                                        ........Bill Meyer

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