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Re: Free Seed -- adding "vigor" as an important hybridizing goal -- broad spectrum lighting

  • Subject: Re: Free Seed -- adding "vigor" as an important hybridizing goal -- broad spectrum lighting
  • From: "Bill Meyer" njhosta@hotmail.com
  • Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2003 17:15:27 -0500

Hi Andrew,
       I would disagree with your statement below about growth hormones. You
said -- "Using hormones to enhance growth will do nothing to change the
genetic makeup of the plant, or any progeny."
       Treating with above-normal levels of plant hormones does seem to
clearly cause a number of mutations in hosta in tissue culture labs.
Frequently these seem to affect vigor in the plant in question. As a retail
nurseryman who buys TC liners in to grow on, I'm sure you must have
encountered TC batches that simply will not grow no matter how you handle
them. Occasionally a plant will emerge from TC more vigorous than it was
when it went in. Even saving them for 2-3 years, there does not seem to be a
point where this effect "wears off". This was more common 5-10 years ago
then today, but it still occurs. The reason this is less common is that TC
lab operators have refined their hormone use to a much greater extent than
before. Nowadays they no longer use the same mixes and timing for every
plant.
        All this would seem to indicate that with further experimentation it
might just be possible to find a mix that will improve vigor in hostas in TC
with some regularity. I would guess that some of the more experienced lab
people could find one that will degrade vigor consistantly, so it's possible
the reverse may hold true.
                                         ..........Bill Meyer

> RE:>>I'm supposing, that by doing this, perhaps the vigorous growing
aspect might become inherited?
>
> Unfortunately, I wouldn't think so.  Using hormones to enhance growth will
do nothing to change the genetic makeup of the plant, or any progeny.
Insertion of the DNA sequence that increases the formation of a growth
hormone, i.e. through some form of gene splicing, now that would be a
different matter.   Need an appropriate vector--anyone now of such?   Or
access to a gene gun.   I have a ways to go before I can accomplish any of
this but gene splicing gets interesting very quickly.. :-)
>
> Ciao.  Andrew in Des Moines, where we missed a record by a scant three
degrees.   86 today, 89 back in 1947...

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