[NAFEX] Useful mutants

Paul Cabe CabeP at wlu.edu
Wed Aug 29 09:30:36 EDT 2007



I've read that other flowers are bred from seeds exposed to  
colchicine, which damages (changes) the genome.  Maybe that's used to 

create polyploidy, I forget the details.

Ginda
 
You remember correctly.  Colchicine disrupts the mitotic spindle
apparatus, and has long been used to increase ploidy levels.  Can be
done to double the chromosome number in a cultivar, or sometimes to
double the chromosomes in a sterile hybrid to make it fertile.  
In general, cell size is correlated with DNA/chromosome content in the
nucleus, so more chromosomes often mean bigger cells, and by extension,
bigger fruits, flowers etc.  Fruits, having larger cells and thus less
abundant cell walls, may be juicier or more tender.
 
best,
Paul Cabe


On Aug 28, 2007, at 11:04 PM, S & E Hills wrote:

> I don?t recall the source, but I recall reading that new varieties  
> of African Violets were bred using seeds that had been taken into  
> space and exposed to solar radiation.
>
>
>
> Scott Hills
>
>
>
> From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:nafex- 
> bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Brungardt, Sam
> Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2007 11:08 AM
> To: North American Fruit Explorers
> Subject: [NAFEX] Useful Mutants, Bred With Radiation (New York
Times)
>
>
>
>
>
> Some of you may find this story disturbing, but I found it  
> interesting and informative even though the writer described  
> Japanese pears as a cross between apples and pears. -- Sam  
> Brungardt, St. Paul, Minn.
>
> Useful Mutants, Bred With Radiation
> Public fears aside, scientists mimic nature's genetic scrambling  
> to  bolster fruits and vegetables, as well as beer and whiskey.
>
> http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/28/science/28crop.html?th&emc=th 
>
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Paul R. Cabe, PhD
Associate Professor of Biology
Washington and Lee University
Lexington, VA 24450
(540)458-8894
(540)458-8012 (fax)
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