[NAFEX] Persimmons...unstable?

Jwlehman at aol.com Jwlehman at aol.com
Mon Nov 21 22:55:00 EST 2005


In a message dated 11/21/2005 12:29:20 PM US Eastern Standard Time, 
lostman_amiga at yahoo.com writes:
> 
> I have to ask are persimmons just geniticly unstable or do their genes just 
> mutate readily??
> 
> Or (more likely) do I just not understand these fruits at all!?!
?

Hi Robert,

You aren't alone, I don't understand it either. 

The 90 chromosome persimmon has 3 pairs of each chromosome or six each making 
it a hexaploid. What causes a few to switch sexual expression to the best of 
my knowledge is unknown. 

Some males will put on perfect flowers, but haven't seen pure pistillate 
flowers on a male. Some females will bear male flowers, but no perfect flowers. 
Confused?  I've read there are some other tree species will also do this, but 
don't know which. The cultivar Szukis will switch when grafted between pure 
pistillate, pure staminate and bisexual. So to test if the understock has an 
influence I grafted Szukis onto known pistillate and staminate understocks. Some 
switched to female on male understock and visa versa. The rootstock doesn't seem 
to influence the sexual expression. It may be fairly safe then to assume 
micro-nutrients aren't involved. 

Another interesting observation. On some male trees the flowers are in 
various stages between pure male to perfect. That is, the ovaries in some are 
totally undeveloped, while others maybe 20% developed, some 30%, 35%, 40% developed 
and some 50% developed, and functional to the point of having the capability 
of being fertilized and maturing fertile seed in small fruits. Claypool's F-100 
is one such as well as another I discovered on a tree on my neighbors 
property. On the F-100 almost every king flower (that is the first one to bloom in 
each set of three) is perfect and receptive and will bear small fruit. 

If anyone reading knows of other males bearing fruit I'd like scion wood. I 
have a few seedlings from staminate trees that haven't flowered yet.  

Jerry
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