[NAFEX] Useful Mutants, Bred With Radiation (New York Times)
Lon J. Rombough
lonrom at hevanet.com
Wed Aug 29 01:02:08 EDT 2007
Colchicine causes doubling of the chromosome number in a cell. When
the chromosomes duplicate themselves, they move apart into either end
of the cell, then it splits in two, with each cell having a complete
set. Colchicine prevents the duplicates from moving apart, so the cell
doesn't split and ends the division cycle with twice as many
There was a 'craze' of trying colchicine on many plants when the effect
was discovered. Some plants reacted well, with larger, thicker leaves
and flowers and some hardly looked any different. Daylilies were one
of the more successful plants.
In many cases, tetraploids were less fertile and didn't set as much
seed, or in the case of fruit, set fewer fruits. Later they found
that while the new tetraploids weren't very fertile, you could grow
seedlings and find some that had better fertility/productivity. Used
the right way, it's a very useful tool.
Grapes, writing, consulting, my book, The Grape Grower, at
http://www.bunchgrapes.com Winner of the Garden Writers Association
"Best Talent in Writing" award for 2003.
For even more grape lessons, go to http://www.grapeschool.com
For growing supplies and more; http://www.grapegrowersolutions.com
On Aug 28, 2007, at 9:43 PM, Ginda Fisher wrote:
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.
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