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RE: Discussion on Origin of Sports

Joe as everyone knows I certainly am not scientific but will stick in a
little information for you to consider.  Over the past years I have been
using a green pod parent that produces very dark seedlings.  This one parent
crossed with other all green plants has offered me one to two seedlings each
year that have streaks in the leaves. I have not found this to be true in
other crosses of two solid plants.  Often the streaked seedlings have not
done well but this year I have one that is growing faster than any of the
other seedlings from that cross.  It seems to have a yellow center.  All of
the others in the past have been with white makings.


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-hosta-open@mallorn.com
[mailto:owner-hosta-open@mallorn.com]On Behalf Of halinar@open.org
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2001 2:10 AM
To: hosta-open@mallorn.com
Subject: Re: Discussion on Origin of Sports


I didn't mistake what you said.  When writing to a group like this I
try to not use too much terminology that is scientific jargon, but I
can't make it too simple.  Sometimes one scientific word can take the
place of several sentences.  I figure that not everyone is going to be
eating up this discussion, and those who are interested but don't have
a scientific background probably know how to read and can look up
terms they don't fully understand, or even ask for further


Back to where I left off last night.  I think we can dismiss a few
ideas for variegation as being unlikely, and we can accept that at
least some variegation is mutated chloroplasts.  What I don't have a
good answer for is that L1-L2 variegation that shows up when the seeds
germinate.  And the other thing I don't have a good answer for is the
different sports that can and do show up from existing variegated
hostas.  If variegation was the result of only mutated chloroplasts,
then we should only see at best 5 possible sports from L1-L2 shifting
and rearrangment.  If we start with a albomarginata type then we can
get an all green form, an all white form (dies), a
albo-mediovariegated type or a streaked form.  Allowing for some minor
differences because of growth rate due to lower photosynthesis in the
non-green parts, these plants should pretty much look alike.  However,
we see many different sports showing up that have changes in addition
to the variegation patterns.  One of the experiments I am trying to do
is to induce sports and then take those sports and induce more sports
and see how these different lines relate to each other.  We can't be
getting these sports showing up that also have major changes in
phenotypes unless there is something else going on.

My own hunch is that transposible elements are playing a role or there
is some control mechanism at work that is linked with histogenic layer
formation.  The histogenic layers are formed fairly early on in the
development of the zygote.  It's possible that genes for chlorophyll
synthesis or other regulator genes are turned on or off at this time.
 Transposible elements seem to play a role in the streaked variegation
in some flowers, so I don't see why they couldn't also play a role in
hosta variegation.  The problem we face right now is that we really
don't have enough knowledge to say anything specific.  This is why I
think we need some LONG term studies.  It may be possible that some of
us who are interested in this can cooperate somewhat and report on
results we observe this year when hosta seedlings start to germinate.

Joe Halinar

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