[NAFEX] Test Question

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Wed Aug 4 10:50:50 EDT 2004

In most plants that I know of, there are no distinguishing cytogenetic
features.  The sex is determined by a few genes that aren't located on any
chromosomes that have any sort of obvious landmarks.  I can tell from
experience that in grapes, which have separate male and female vines in the
wild, the chromosomes are so small you would need a very expensive
microscope to even see the chromosomes - they are barely visible at 2500
   In American persimmons, you can tell the sex of most trees when they
aren't blooming easily.  Males will have clusters of three tiny stems from
the male flowers attached to the twigs, while females will have larger,
single stems.  These are visible even in winter.
-Lon Rombough

    Does anyone know of a test to determine the sex of a plant?  I'm
speaking of plants like Persimmon, Kiwi, Bitter Sweet, etc. that have male
plants and female plants.  Among mammals, for example, the cells of females
contain Barr bodies and males do not; a simple test for anyone passessing a
microscope.  Is there a similar test to tell male plants from female plants?
Jim Fruth
Pequot Lakes, MN

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