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RE: Hostas that change

  • Subject: RE: Hostas that change
  • From: "Andrew Lietzow" alietzow@myfamily.com
  • Date: 4 Sep 2003 12:04:02 -0600

Dear Tom and list, 
RE:>>Is it true? ...   that we can totally prevent a Hosta from reverting back by immediately trimming the Hostas bloom off before it starts making seed.

This question relates to the alignment of genes within chromosomes, and the subsequent expression of chimeras through phenotype.   (See: http://www.biologie.uni-hamburg.de/b-online/e12/2.htm) 

I understand that chimeras arise when there are cell mutations, that such variegated plants can be stabilized by taking a colony of those mutated cells and segregating them from the non-mutated cells, subsequently growing them on and perhaps multiplying them through asexual propagation.  With luck, the progeny can become stable.  

This is essentially the process that Ed Elslager has documented in his article "Resurrection of Splashing in H. 'Galaxy Revisited' " (THJ, Vol 30 No 2, Fall 1999) in which Ed duplicates the technique and replicates the findings of Jim Wilkins (THJ, Vol 25 No 1, Spring 1994) in his article "New Jewels from Old Crowns".     

If chimeras originate because of the effects of transposons (still conjecture on my part), and if transposons in the Hosta genome are prolific, highly unstable, and readily rearranged in the chloroplast (or nuclear?) genome, then this would lead me to believe that any effect on the meristematic tissue (by snipping off the bloom scapes of a Hosta) would be purely coincidental.  The psychological term for this is "superstitious conditioning", in that we come to believe by faith and not fact something that just ain't so.  

Another way of stating this is, "Not True", as our esteemed colleague, Mr. Dan Nelson, has already succinctly promulgated  ...  

Of course, with empirical evidence to the contrary, I would be forced to change my mind.  :-)  

Andrew Lietzow
In Des Moines, where the coolness of fall is leading to a nice second flush of leaves... 


 
-----Original Message-----
From: HMinnesota@aol.com
Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2003 11:42 AM
To: hosta-open@mallorn.com
Cc: 
Subject: Hostas that change

Recently, a Hosta lover adamantly told me we can totally prevent a Hosta from 
reverting back by immediately trimming the Hostas bloom off before it starts 
making seed.

Is this true?

Tom

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