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Re: [iris] OT: Chimera 97-96A atypical

  • Subject: [PHOTO] [iris-photos] Re: [iris] OT: Chimera 97-96A atypical
  • From: oneofcultivars@AOL.COM
  • Date: Sun, 30 May 2004 10:11:00 EDT

In a message dated 5/30/2004 12:34:11 AM Central Daylight Time, neilm@charter.net writes:

Bill Burleson commented in an e-mail after the "Chimera" post about the
daylilies including both diploid and tetraploid tissues in the first
conversions.  He said that one just pollenated flowers as they came.  The
resulting diploid and tetraploid offspring would be significantly different.
One did not need to be selective in which blooms to pollenate.

In daylily circles, by definition a plant with two genetically different tissues growing side by side is a chimera. This is consistent with the rest of the botanical concepts in the plant world. Chimeras may or may not be stable. Ploidy chimeras are common in plants treated with colchicine, part of the tissues being converted to tetraploidy, other parts remaining diploid.

The best example of a stable chimera I am aware of is a Corkscrew Willow. The different growth rates of the two tissue types is what creates the twisting of the branches as they grow.

Attempted daylily conversions from dip to tet can be either fully or partially converted in the conversion process. The partial conversions are easily easily identifiable for hybridizing purposes by pollen examination. They produce both dip and tet pollen. In a fairly stable proportions from bloom to bloom on a given plant in a given bloom season.  The fully converted plants produce only tet pollen and remain tet in their subsiquent increases while the partially converted plants (chimeras) as Baxter indicated revert to their original plody over time. This can take several seasons but each year the production of tet pollen decreases in proportion to the total amount of pollen being produced in plants that are not fully converted. I have successfully used used the pollen from partial conversions to pollinate both dip and tet plants.

Both fully converted and partially converted scapes can emerge from an attempted plant conversion but for me this was a rare circumstance. And, full conversion was pretty rare too. though I killed many plants in the process.

I  never affected a conversion in which some alteration of the color tints did not manifest itself, with either the full or partial conversions that transpired nor have I seen any conversion by others that did not effect color tints. These color changes were most obvious in pinks with an intensifying of the orange tints (too my eyes) taking place in the conversion process. Alway in conversions the bloom, stalk, and color intensity increased as does usually the vigor of the plant if fully converted.

Often in the first generation crosses with converted plants (stable or unstable) seed production within a mated pod was well below the norm for tet seed production. Often times only one seed was produced against the norm of six. Subsequent generation cross seed production of the progeny was unaffected producing normal pods in every respect to the tet population as a whole.

While stable chimeras in daylilies may exist as such relates to pollen production of two pollen types on the same plant, I have not personally encounted one. More often I have encounted plants touted to be full conversions that actually reverted to their original plody or were infertile.

Points in passing: I see little need for daylily conversions in today's world. The genetic pool available seems suffiecient now though it was not in the past while being responsible for production of Stout medal winners. Additionally, some wonderful lines of daylilies to the market place. Sometime last year the Aril Robin some had good discussion on iris conversions. I no longer attempt plant conversions in daylilies. Instead if I found myself in need of such I would more likely use the scape conversion technique pioneered by Mel Wallace. The chemicals required for conversions are increasing more difficult to acquire. Too, Kevin Vaughn (current president of the Louisianna Iris group I think) did some successful work with daylilies converting seed germinents using triflorilin (Treflan). Seems too, if memory serves, he did some conversion work on spiderwort (Why beyond curious, I know not. Missippians are always a little wacked).

I find myself technically in Dave's camp concerning the color manifestations of iris blooms we call chimeras as not actually being such. Likely, in many cases they are just some confused or otherwise injured plant tissue in that particular bloom.

Bill Burleson

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