Daylilies forum: Do Tet Conversion Daylilies Require Special Growing Conditions?

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Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Jan 23, 2016 8:08 PM CST
I am thinking of getting some tet conversions and wonder if they require special handling or growing? Do these plants behave and require the same growing conditions as regular daylilies?
Name: Ashton & Terry
Jones, OK (Zone 7a)
Windswept Farm & Gardens
Hostas Lilies Hybridizer Keeps Sheep Pollen collector Irises
Hummingbirder Region: United States of America Daylilies Region: Oklahoma Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kidfishing
Jan 23, 2016 8:50 PM CST
I don't think so. I have a few and they do ok with no different treatment than the others.
The only thing with some of them is their pollen and pod fertility.
Some are very difficult to impossible for me!

Ashton
Kidfishing
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Jan 23, 2016 9:43 PM CST
Thanks, Ashton. Perhaps they will get better as the plants become established? Is their pollen very weak too?
Name: Ashton & Terry
Jones, OK (Zone 7a)
Windswept Farm & Gardens
Hostas Lilies Hybridizer Keeps Sheep Pollen collector Irises
Hummingbirder Region: United States of America Daylilies Region: Oklahoma Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kidfishing
Jan 23, 2016 10:59 PM CST
I hope they do much better this spring.
Most of the ones that I have are hard to work with.
I get lots of pods from their pollen but 75% abort before getting mature. Sad

Kidfishing
Name: Steve Todd
Illinois (Zone 5b)
Region: Illinois Plant and/or Seed Trader Daylilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Ahead
Jan 24, 2016 8:19 AM CST
It has been a learning experience here. I have lowered my expectations for seed output and seed germination. A pod will give me one or two firm seeds, if I am lucky, and then they may not germinate.

Not reliable for seed selling, but invaluable for my own interests and direction.
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jan 24, 2016 9:28 AM CST
Most conversions are partial when first formed. With the passage of time, some will revert back to being complete diploids, a few may become complete tetraploids and some will remain mixtures of diploid and tetraploid tissue.

A conversion that is not very fertile with known fertile tetraploids may be producing a large proportion of the same pollen that the normal diploid version produces; one might try a test with a known fertile diploid to see if that is the reason for the low fertility. If it is the case, using the conversion's pollen on known tetraploids may be producing rare triploids, as well as, or instead, of tetraploids.
Maurice
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Jan 24, 2016 11:31 AM CST
I am sorry to hear that, Ashton! That is a terrible percentage of abortion. I hope you have a better outcome next year.

Thank you Maurice for the above explanation. I will try the pollen on both tets and dips this year to see what happens. I am planning to get tets Malachite Prism and Peppermint Delight. Does anyone have experience with these conversions?
Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Jan 25, 2016 1:23 AM CST
Their fertility and usability depends on so many factors that it would be hard to nail it down to specifics.

A microscope is almost essential in order to be able to evaluate the size of the pollen grains. Without that, you'll waste a lot of time and effort. I've had conversions that were more pollen-fertile than most of the other tetraploids I grew at the time. Homeward Bound was one of those. Others are just average, and some are not only pollen-fertile, but are actually fairly pod-fertile, although these tend to be rare.

Conversion is such an unpredictable undertaking that plants can be unaffected, "fully" converted, or partially converted, where the leaves on one side of the converted fan are thick and pebbly-textured, and the other side are relatively normal, or where a scape will have both diploid and tetraploid blooms. These sorts of things tend to even out one way or the other over time, but not always.

While converting a plant, some latent vegetative buds may be affected, and while the main fan will turn out to be diploid, a year or so later you might find scapes with tet pollen. I've bought treated diploids from people who thought their conversion had failed, and the next season had them turn out to be very usable conversions. I had one conversion which had foliage so thick and bumpy that the fans only got to about 3" tall for several years, and the leaves would break instead of bend. It finally bloomed about 5 years later, and the pollen was a damp mess, with very large grains. Jamie Gossard talks a little about polyploids in his description of Heavenly New Frontiers (2016)
http://www.heavenlygardens.com/image-viewer.htm?Heavenly-New...

When a conversion increases, you can't assume that the new fans are tetraploid—it's best to check the pollen with a microscope and actually make viable seed with it before you stake your reputation on it. If, when checking under a microscope, the conversion shows a low percentage of over-sized grains, you can still make viable seed, but it will require a fertile pod parent and a lot of crosses.
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Jan 25, 2016 12:32 PM CST
Thank you so much CaliFlowers for sharing your knowledge and experience on this subject. It is definitely not a simple process for hybridizing with conversions plants as their genes sound rather unstable. As this hybridizing is pretty new for me, I don't think I am ready to deal with the failures of seeds and seeds formations with these plants as parents. I think i will pass on these for now until I gain more experience. Thanks again!
Name: Ashton & Terry
Jones, OK (Zone 7a)
Windswept Farm & Gardens
Hostas Lilies Hybridizer Keeps Sheep Pollen collector Irises
Hummingbirder Region: United States of America Daylilies Region: Oklahoma Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kidfishing
Jan 25, 2016 4:22 PM CST
Karen, we have used the tet conversions for two years.
Steve, it sounds like we have similar experience.
We don't buy that many expensive daylilies but I wanted to get Ashton something special to work with so I bought Tet Texas Kaleidoscope and Tet Super Fancy Face. They have been difficult with very few good seeds produced. I questioned that they are tetraploid since the most success has been crossing the two together.

Can you actually have both tet and dip pollen from a tetraploid conversion?
Should I pay Jamie Gossard to test the ploidy? I don't know that I can tell the chromosomes by looking under a microscope.

We hope to have our first seedlings from the tet conversions blooming this spring. I would sure like to be certain that these Tet Texas Kaleidoscope X Tet Super Fancy Face seedlings are actually tetraploid.
Terry
Kidfishing
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jan 25, 2016 6:10 PM CST
Can you actually have both tet and dip pollen from a tetraploid conversion?

Yes. A tetraploid conversion can still be a mixture of diploid and tetraploid cells and produce both "diploid" and "tetraploid" pollen. A tetraploid conversion could produce little "tetraploid" pollen and mostly "diploid" pollen.
When buying a tetraploid conversion one might want to ask the seller what layers were converted (layer 1 or layer 2 or both and were they completely converted). One might also want to ask how long ago it was checked for ploidy.

Should I pay Jamie Gossard to test the ploidy?

I would wait until he is in a position to do actual chromosome counts of root tip squashes. He needs to confirm that the highly unusual results he is producing with the flow cytometry machine are related to differences in chromosome counts (to differences in ploidy) and not related to other factors.
Maurice
[Last edited by admmad - Jan 25, 2016 6:30 PM (+)]
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Name: Ken
East S.F. Bay Area (Zone 9a)
Region: California
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CaliFlowers
Jan 25, 2016 7:29 PM CST
Edit: Looks like I walked away from this for too long, and Maurice got here with the goods first...

kidfishing said:Can you actually have both tet and dip pollen from a tetraploid conversion?


Yes, as I mentioned, you can have all sorts of combinations, such as tet and diploid blooms on the same scape, or even individual stamens that are tet and dip (or combinations of each) from the same blossom.

Should I pay Jamie Gossard to test the ploidy? I don't know that I can tell the chromosomes by looking under a microscope.


There are other ways besides a microscope to get an idea if a plant has some tetraploid characteristics. Feel the foliage of a fairly mature leaf down low where the leaves start to separate - if they're noticeably thicker and stiffer, and have a rougher surface texture than the diploid, then you are seeing the effects of treatment. Look at the ovary of the flower—conversions tend to have a thicker, shorter ovary, thicker, stiffer petals, thicker stamens. The flower segments are often so stiff (and can be differently proportioned) that they don't open as relaxed and voluptuous as when they were diploids. The flower could be noticeably larger than the diploid. Most of the time I was able to detect some sort of polyploidy by these simple field observations, and the microscope generally confirmed them. There are exceptions though, that's why the microscope is valuable.

Chromosome tests are pretty expensive, considering that you'd want to test treated plants fairly regularly until you get to the point where the plant shows signs of stability. A decent microscope would probably pay for itself many times over in the first season of use.

A microscope is pretty easy for anyone to use. Gather pollen from a diploid and a tetraploid, mix the two on the same slide. Find a magnification that allows you to see the difference in their size - something to where a pollen grain would take up something like 1/50 of the field, maybe a little stronger. Some pollens of equal ploidy are naturally bigger, some are differently shaped, so what you're looking for is a feel for the range that dip and tet pollens generally fall into. If the reticle is graduated, it's a little easier to see.

We hope to have our first seedlings from the tet conversions blooming this spring. I would sure like to be certain that these Tet Texas Kaleidoscope X Tet Super Fancy Face seedlings are actually tetraploid.


Ironically, unless you have extremely easy-to-use conversions, those are the crosses that have the best odds of being diploid. Fortunately, there is a very simple way to check the seedlings, and that is to to cross them with known diploids and tetraploids and see where you get full-term, viable seed. Hopefully you do get some tets from that cross - they might really be something.

[Last edited by CaliFlowers - Jan 25, 2016 7:38 PM (+)]
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Name: Ashton & Terry
Jones, OK (Zone 7a)
Windswept Farm & Gardens
Hostas Lilies Hybridizer Keeps Sheep Pollen collector Irises
Hummingbirder Region: United States of America Daylilies Region: Oklahoma Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
kidfishing
Jan 25, 2016 8:54 PM CST
I will use the pollen from both tet conversions on both tets and dips this year. I will also cross the seedlings from the tet conversions both ways to test them. I have a microscope so I can see if I can determine tet from dip pollen as well. We did get just a few seedlings with Tet Texas Kaleidoscope X Orange City and Tet Texas Kaleidoscope X Margaret's Blue Diamond. One reason I think the two crossed together are diploid was because the seed pods had too many seeds for tets. We were not able to set any seeds from other tets on either of the conversions. We only set two pods on Tet Super Fancy Face with Tet Texas Kaleidoscope pollen.

Thanks for all the information.
Kidfishing
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jan 25, 2016 10:17 PM CST
When checking pollen sizes it is best to compare the pollen of the diploid version of Texas Kaleidoscope with the pollen from the tetraploid conversion of Texas Kaleidoscope. When the comparison is done between the diploid version and the tetraploid conversion of the same cultivar then the pollen of the tetraploid version will be larger by about 30% in any dimension. The same thing applies to comparing the size of the pollen of the diploid version of Super Fancy Face with the pollen of the tetraploid conversion of Super Fancy Face.

You can also check the sizes of the stomatal guard cells in the same way. These are on the leaves and are available whenever the plants have green leaves and not just when they are in flower as is the case for pollen.
Maurice
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jan 26, 2016 7:07 AM CST
I saw on Facebook where Gossard has another website concerning ploidy. I haven't explored the site, but here's the link for those interested:
http://www.plantploidy.com/
Donald
Name: Betty
Bakersfield, CA
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Birds The WITWIT Badge Region: United States of America Roses
Irises Cat Lover Daylilies Region: California Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Betja
Jan 26, 2016 11:30 AM CST
I am a big fan of Bill Waldrop's blog, and in his latest post of Jan. 23rd he talks about his conversion TET YANKEE PINSTRIPES and even has a picture of the tet pollen.

http://billsdaylilycorner.blogspot.com

Betty
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jan 28, 2016 8:34 PM CST
This is really interesting.

If a conversion fails, reverts back, and the plant is used for hybridizing, does the conversion treatment affect any children seedlings from it, is it likely the plant is sterile, or does it produce like a dip?
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Jan 29, 2016 7:43 AM CST
I am interested to understand conversion daylilies too. Is there a source that explains the process? How do hybridizers go about converting a dip to a tet?
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jan 29, 2016 8:46 AM CST
beckygardener said:If a conversion fails, reverts back, and the plant is used for hybridizing, does the conversion treatment affect any children seedlings from it, is it likely the plant is sterile, or does it produce like a dip?


There has been some evidence in other species that treatment with colchicine may have some effects when the conversion fails. However, there is no documented evidence for this in daylilies. In general when the conversion fails and the plant reverts back to being diploid its seedlings are diploids.

Maurice
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Jan 29, 2016 8:50 AM CST
kousa said:I am interested to understand conversion daylilies too. Is there a source that explains the process? How do hybridizers go about converting a dip to a tet?

If you are a member of the American Hemerocallis Society then you have access to back issues of the Daylily Journal. There are several articles in those that describe different ways to convert diploid daylilies to tetraploids. Otherwise one can use Google to search the internet for daylilies & colchicine or daylilies & oryzalin or daylilies & trifluralin for example.

Maurice
[Last edited by admmad - Jan 29, 2016 10:48 AM (+)]
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