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Re: Thoughts for the day

  • Subject: Re: Thoughts for the day
  • From: halinar@open.org
  • Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2001 09:16:03 -0700 (PDT)

Mary:

>The next question would be, do we want to ignore these plants for 
>breeding or are the other traits transmitted by them important enough 
>to keep working with them. Through careful breeding we might save the 
>good and remove the bad.

The first though that most people will think is to not use those 
hostas for breeding.  It doesn't make too much difference what the 
fault is that we are btalking about.  If a hosta has a fault, such as 
being susceptable to slug damage, then not using those hostas and only 
using slug resistant hostas makes sense if you have a lot of slug 
resistant hostas and all the traits you want can be found in the slug 
resistant hostas.  

However, there is no reason to not use a hosta that has some fault, 
such as being susceptable to slug damage, as long as you know the 
fault is there and you select against that fault in later generations. 
For example, I use lilies that are susceptible to bulb rot in my lily 
breeding.  However, I also have a way of growing the resulting 
progenies that does away with most of the rot susceptable ones very 
easily.  I use the rot suscpetible ones because they have desirable 
traits.  In later generations I select for the desirable traits and 
against the undesirable traits.  It really isn't any different for 
hostas.  If two hostas are equally the same but one is highly 
resistant to slug damage, then use that one instead of the susceptable 
one.  However, if the susceptable one is the one that has the desired 
traits, then use it, but in later generations test for slug 
resistance.

The only negative about using something that has a fault is that the 
fault may be carried along for many generations and it may be 
necessary to keep testing for the fault.  This is especially true for 
traits that are recessive.  However, if you understand your breeding 
lines, then you can take these faults into account.  The problem 
arises when other people buy your plant that has the fault in a hidden 
recessive state and it shows up in later generations when they use it.

Joe Halinar

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