>I am quite willing to discuss anything with you on the subject of
Good. I enjoy a good intellectual discussion (especially when I know
I am right).
>I have nearly 35 year research and teaching experience (what is
>yours?) in the formal and molecular genetics of fungi, yeast,
>Drosophila and now three years with the genetics of Hosta.
Now, that is the reason why I am having so much trouble understanding
your general rule of thumb for hosta sports. I figured you were
probably a fruit fly geneticist. I see you have NO background in
botany. My background is a BS in forestry and botany, a MS in botany
and a Ph.D. in plant breeding and genetics. I've had my own nursery
business for 20 years and have been breeding lilies and daylilies for
20 years and now am getting into hosta hybridizing.
>However it seems you are not able/willing to decide on a simple yes
>or no question i.e. wether the first true leaf in Hosta is a
>cotyledon or not (to be found in any good book on plant biology)
You may be right and you may be wrong. However, you haven't given any
proof that you are correct. Please quote the references that support
your view. I looked in one of the great plant anatomy books of the
20th century and didn't find anything to support your view. Besides,
you have't answered my queston about the first leaf of alliums - are
they cotyledon or a true leaf. Of course, the answer to this question
doesn't support your point of view, so maybe you don't want to answer.
Some lilies germinate and the whole embryo stays underground and is
transformed into a bulbil, so it is possible that hosta cotyledons
stay below ground and the first leaf is a true leaf, but I want to see
proof of it. You seem to have access to research facilities, so how
about germinating some hosta seeds, making paraffin preparations,
section them and take micro-photographes and prove your point.
>Therefore it seems to me that any other subject with less clear yes
or no answers is too far fetched for the moment.
For you maybe!
Ben, I respect your intellect and you probably do know a lot about
fruit fly, fungus and bacteria genetics. However, that knowledge
doesn't necessary directly apply to higher plants. Your basic rule of
thumb for sports in hostas doesn't have much value because two of the
causes you mention, mutation and mitotic crossing over occure at too
low a rate to account for the high rate of sports in hosta. For one
example, last year I had 1 plant of Whirlwind. This year I have 8
plants and 5 are sports, and these are not chimera rearrangements.
I've propagated over a half million Stella De Oro daylilies in the
last 15 years and have found only two variegated plants; both were
mericlinal chimeras that were eventually lost. I've propagated maybe
50,000 other daylilies and grown thousands of seedlings and in 15
years I've only found a handfull of variegated plants from seedlings,
none of which were stable periclinal chimeras.
The mutation rate is just too low to account for many sports in hosta.
Not that some hostas aren't mutations, but it's a lot less then what
you would suggest.
Yes, some organisms do have mitotic crossing over, but even in those
organism where it does occure it is VERY RARE. Mitotic crossing over
is very rare in higher plants. This isn't to say that hostas couldn't
have some genetic control over mitotic crossing over. If they do, you
should be able to prove it without too much difficulty. If mitotic
crossing over were to occure in yellow hostas it would occure in any
number of dividing cells and you would more likely end up with
sectoral chimeras rather than periclinal chimeras and you should see
yellow hostas with all sorts of odd green patches. You make very
general and unsupported statements when you say that a certain type of
sport is due to mitotic crossing over when mitotic crossing over in
higher plants is an extreamely rare event. If mitotic crossing over
does occure in hostas PROVE it - you will become VERY famous!
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