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Re: hosta-open DIGEST V1 #1239


>Joe in other posts I notice information about larger pollen grains 
>found (among other characteristics) in tetras (Daylilies I believe). 
><snip> Does this hold true for Hosta? 

Tetraploid hosta pollen should be slightly larger then diploid pollen, 
but I'm not sure just how much larger.  If you have a diploid hosta 
producing unreduced pollen, then you would see a certain percentage of 
the pollen are being larger.  In various studies where people have 
measured diploid and tertaploid pollen sizes, the tertaploids, ON 
AVERAGE, are larger.  However, the range of sizes is such that some 
small sized tet pollen is about the same size or even slightly smaller 
then the largerest sized diploid pollen.  Thus, you can probably get a 
good estimate of the plants ploidy level by looking at the size of the 
pollen, but it isn't always correct.  

I doubt that a standard handlens would be strong enough to accurately 
seperate small and large pollen sizes.  A cheap microscope would 
probably do the job.  Take some pollen and sprinkle it on some 
"invisible" cellophane tape and then fold the tape back over its self 
to seal in the pollen.  Then go down to some toy store or hobby shop 
that sells kids microscopes and use the tape as a sample to test the 
microscope to see if it will work.  There is a microscope out that 
connects to your computer so that the monitor replaces the eye piece. 
The nice thing is that you can save the images.  It goes up to 200 
magnification, that's probably linear magnification rather then area 
magnification, but it should be good enough.  I believe 
tigerdirect.com has it for sale.

Joe Halinar

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