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Re: hosta-open DIGEST V1 #560


>Suppose a foliar nematode-resistant hosta is found? Would the 
>scientists in the list please tell us what the next step would be?

I haven't seen any foliar nematodes on hostas in my garden or any 
other garden in the Pacific Northwest.  Don't know if we are just 
lucky, or if foliar nematodes are not a problem out here.

"Research into foliar nematodes" could mean just about anything.  
Also, $25,000 doesn't buy much research these days.  That amount of 
money could be used efficiently or it could be easily wasted.  It 
seems to me that a detailed report on the proposed research should be 
seriously analyzed by people who are knowledgeable about research to 
see if the hosta society is making best use of the money rather then 
just give it to Ohio State Univ and tell them to do what ever they 
want to.  

It seems to me the hosta society will get more efficent use of the 
money to do studies to first find out how to control foliar nematodes 
before doing any research to find resitance.  In any plant breeding 
program where it is desirable to overcome a disease problem the first 
goal is to locate resistance to the particular problem, in this case 
foliar nemeatodes.  The next step is to incorporate this resistance 
into new plants so that the new cultivars that are released are 
resistent.  To do this with foliar nemetodes would require that 
crosses be made and that future generations would have to be infected 
with nematodes to isolate the resistent plants.  This isn't likely to 
be done by amature hybridizers working in their backyards.  Also, 
gardeners aren't going to discard all existing hostas, so the problem 
will continue to exist.  As to looking for resistent hostas, all you 
have to do is find growers in areas where there is problems with 
foliar nematodes and make a list of all the infected and non-infected 
plants in each garden and see if there are any cultivars that 
consistently show up in the non-infected list.  Not perfect, but gives 
you are starting point.  

Joe Halinar

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