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Re: Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2001 08:53:59 -0500


Mary:

>The plants that most of us are working with are so mixed, carrying so 
>many dormant genes that I just figured anything might show up in the 
>seedlings.  As we move farther away from the species more and more 
>traits are involved therefore our back crossing should bring some of 
>these out.

You are basically correct.  The hosta genome we work with in the 
garden is a mix of numerous species.  When we cross species we bring 
together new gene combinations that didn't exist before.  Then as we 
further breed with these we then re-segregate these genes into new 
combinations that then interact with existing genes.  Sometimes this 
will lead to new traits showing up.  All this mixing up of the genes 
leads to a lot of heterozygosity which leads to a lot of variation in 
the seedling populations we look at.  However, if both parents have a 
lot of dominant genes, then you can cross them and the F1 generation 
will appear to not have much variation, but the heterozygosity is 
still there.

Joe Halinar

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