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Chimeras


Hi Everybody,
      Some may be wondering about the terms sectorial, mericlinal, and periclinal in reference to types of chimeras in Hosta. I've prepared a diagram which I hope explains it well enough. In a sectorial chimera, a section of mutated tissue runs through the L1 and L2 layers as if there was no boundary. In a mericlinal chimera, the new tissue is restricted to one layer or the other, so you get part of an edge or part of a center. A periclinal chimera is the most stable by far with a complete edge or center.
      I've grown quite a few hosta seedlings over the last few years so may be able to help with Joe's questions. What I've seen is about 0 to 1.0% of seedlings from non-streaked parents showing sectorial or mericlinal chimeras, with the percentage varying from one batch of seed to the next. These are very unstable and few persist or convert to periclinals. Rarely will one appear as a periclinal or one of the others convert. Also rarely one will appear as a streaked sport.
      I don't know what streaked plants are, and I'm not sure if anyone really understands them. What is clear is that they do not follow the rules about the other types of chimeras. Their offspring are also streaked in large percentages and these streaked offspring convert to periclinal chimeras with varying frequency. What separates them in appearance is bands of tissue in which the two different colors are mixed together, like mixed jellybeans. I have found the presence of this mixed tissue to be a reliable predictor of streaked progeny. Some say the percentages of all-green, all-white, and mixed tissue are reflected in the seedlings, but I haven't watched for this myself. In past issues of the Journal, I remember Kevin Vaughn, Herb Benedict, Jim Wilkins, and Ed Elslager commenting on this. 
      I have a question for all------ Does the phenomenon of streaking as we know it occur in any other genus? I have seen similar patterns, but do these plants yield streaked offspring?
                                                                                                                .......Bill Meyer

Chimeras.jpg





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