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Hosta tetraploidy inducements using surflan by Tony Avent

Other Surflan Techniques:

Date:    Mon, 18 Jan 1999
From:    Tony Avent <tony@PLANTDEL.COM>
Subject: Re: bulbs and colchicine
reprinted from: Alpine-L Digest


        With all the talk of tetraploidy inducements, and the great dangers involved with colchicine, let me pass along a much safer method.  Instead of using colchicine, researchers have found that Surflan pre-emergent herbicide has the same effect as colchicine.  Researchers tell me that the mutation rate on plants is higher and much lower in humans.

        Dip 5-7 day old seedlings in a solution of Surflan (High Rate is 1:100, while a low rate is 1:200).  This is using the standard store shelf solution to start.  The seedlings should remain in solution for 24 hrs. After this, they should be thoroughly rinsed for 3-4 hours under running water.  Then plant and wait.  While 50% should die, most of the rest will be tetraploid.

        We have had excellent success with this method.  Among the tets so far include ligularia, rohdea, and hosta. I hope this is of use.

Tony Avent
Raleigh, NC   USA

Tue, 19 Jan 1999 reprinted from: Alpine-L Digest:

        Tetraploids are reportedly induced by the entire group of pre-emergent herbicides that include both Treflan and Surflan.  I'll have to rely on some more scientific types to explain how this group works.  A article titled "Drugs with Colchicine-like Effects that Specifically Disassemble Plant but Not Animal Microtubules" outlines the scientific stuff.  This was published in The Annals of the NY Academy of Sciences, 466:767, 784 (1986) by A.S. Bajer and J. Mole-Bajer Univ. of Oregon.

        To date, there are three hostas on the market now that are Treflan induce tetraploids, H. 'Patriot', H. 'Night Before Christmas', and H. 'Grand Tiara'.   It is my understanding that the ploidy levels have been confirmed by Ben Zonneveld of Leiden, Netherlands.

Tony Avent

Solution Calculation:
High Rate of 1:100 using standard store shelf solution (40%):
40% active ingredients is 40 grams surflan/100 ml solution or 0.4 grams per 1 ml solution
1:100 would be 1ml solution + 99 ml water, or
0.4 grams Surflan/100ml, or 0.4% Surflan Solution

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