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Twinspot Spotted!

  • Subject: Twinspot Spotted!
  • From: "Bill Meyer" njhosta@hotmail.com
  • Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 14:34:31 -0400

Hi Everyone,
        One of the rarest phenomena in the hosta world is the "twinspot". Generally accepted as the classical proof of mitotic recombination occuring, it is the result (in a gold plant) of a single gold cell dividing into a green cell and a white one, and those two forming adjacent and parallel lines of tissue in those two colors. These are as rare as hen's teeth (almost) in hostas, and this is the only one I've seen this year. Fortunately Carol Brashear was there with her trusty camera to make it the best-looking "twinspot" photo ever taken. It's on a gold seedling at Roy Herold's new garden in Massachusetts.
        This is the fourth one I've seen so far, and I've looked at an awful lot of hosta. It is truly a more-than-one-in-a-million occurrence. All the ones I've seen so far, and the one in Gary Trucks' photo have been in the center area of the leaf, and have not extended all the way to the edge of the leaf, meaning they did not cross the L1-L2 border. Has anyone else seen, or better yet managed to get a photo of one of these? Has anyone seen one occur in the margin area of a leaf? If you have had one of these where you could watch it, did it reappear (both colors or just one?) the following year?
         There is so much we don't know about rare phenomena like this, and all of us can help the cause of hosta science move along if we can provide evidence of unusual events in the plants we see. Please snap a picture of truly odd sports or mutations if you see them, and keep track of those plants to see if they do the same thing next year. You can make a difference in advancing our knowledge about the genus.
                                                                        ........Bill Meyer

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