Propagation forum: Microwaving Pollen

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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Mar 17, 2016 3:10 PM CST
In my attempts to pollinate Albuca spiralis with no success, I finally found information about pollinating the A. spiralis which called for microwaving pollen and mixing it with fresh pollen. I tried that with the A. spiralis and it worked!!! I got a seed pod!

Further research of microwaving pollen yielded sparse results but what I did find was interesting ... especially a bit that said microwaving pollen may overcome self sterility bye changing the polysaccharides some how!

Here is a link to pretty much all the information I found - under "microwaving pollen"

http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbslist/2016-February/btdv...

Nhu Nguyen's post has the best information (below) - but read all of the entries if you're interested.

microwaving pollen
Nhu Nguyen (Mon, 15 Feb 2016 10:11:33 PST)

Hi Uli,

Yes, you are right. With more accurate description, it would be most useful
to different people. I have an old model that is 400 Watts. Power at 400
watts and 15-20 seconds is what I typically use. If you have more powerful
models, you can scale it down. According to what I can find on the
internet, the scaling is linear.

For example, if you have a 1000 Watt machine, my output would be 40% as
powerful as yours. You should reduce the power on your machine to the 40%
power setting. Alternatively, you can reduce cooking time to 6-8 seconds at
100% power.

David mentioned that perhaps drying is a cause. I don't think that is the
case since air drying of pollen doesn't help to bypass
self-incompatibility. You'd need some really fancy machines or some
chemical reactions to see if the polysaccharides have changed - we need a
chemist. Jim Shields, where are you?

I searched around a little bit and it appears that microwaves are often
used to solubilize polysaccharides or cause change in structure of highly
branched polysaccharide molecules. So it appears that my hypothesis of
microwaves changing the polysaccharides that causes self-incompatibility
may hold some water.

Nhu

On Mon, Feb 15, 2016 at 1:58 AM, Johannes Ulrich Urban <
johannes-ulrich-urban@t-online.de> wrote:

What is half strength in a microwave? Can you give the setting in Watt?
With an indication in Watt the energy applied would be clear, then the
length of exposure to that energy can be dealt with separately. I would
guess that both the level of energy exposure and its length do matter.
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

Unknown

Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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greene
Mar 18, 2016 1:58 PM CST
That is amazing!! Thank you for posting this...although it may cause me many sleepless nights doing research. I have read several of the posts and will continue to look for more information.
Thank You! I love learning new things and new methods. Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
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Xeramtheum
Mar 18, 2016 2:02 PM CST
I don't know if you noticed the dates on the posts (2016) but this apparently is something brand new. If my Midnight Marvel Hibiscus survived the winter and comes back up I'm definitely trying it on that one since it's not self fertile. Is is however fertile with Luna Pink Swirl Hibiscus. I already have a bunch of year old plants and hopefully they will come back up .. can't wait to see the flowers if they do.
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

Unknown

Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Mar 19, 2016 1:52 PM CST
Those 2016 posts were only the newer ones. Some go back to 2006, so the theory goes back more than 10 years. Notice that there is anecdotal success with Albuca spp., but it's not know how well the process might work with other plants. A friend sent me pollen from her Turkish hazelnut so I can pollinate mine, but I am also going to try microwaving. I've asked around and it seems no one has tried it on trees before.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hybridizer Birds Seed Starter Cat Lover
Pollen collector Morning Glories Greenhouse Bookworm Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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Xeramtheum
Mar 19, 2016 3:33 PM CST
Keep us informed of your progress!
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

Unknown

Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
Image
Leftwood
Mar 19, 2016 4:11 PM CST
Thumbs up
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hybridizer Birds Seed Starter Cat Lover
Pollen collector Morning Glories Greenhouse Bookworm Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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Xeramtheum
Mar 28, 2016 7:35 PM CST
I now have 6 pods growing on my A. spiralis. After years and years of no success, this is really amazing! I'm going to be trying it on some passiflora and hibiscus that are not self fertile. I'm really psyched about this!
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

Unknown

Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
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Pistil
Apr 12, 2016 12:24 PM CST
Xeramtheum-
I read this thread with interest. I have an A spiralis 'Frizzle Sizzle' I mail ordered from Logee's this winter. I wanted to get seeds, but my cat broke off the flower stalk after I made my attempts. I guess next year :-(
Anyway, my Adenium 'Red' (a seed strain also from Logee's) has at least a dozen buds. Several years ago I tried to pollinate it using WQP's (Wilfred) instructions on the "other" website. It faithfully used my #3 paintbrush, but no success. Later I read somewhere that this kind of Adenium is not self fertile, so likely that is why I failed. I only have the one Adenium, so cannot try pollen from another plant. I am going to try the microwave method.
I read the thread on the Pacific Bulb Society website, it mentions usually the pollen that one has microwaved is non-self pollen, mixed with the pollen that is desired. But you just tried microwaving pollen from the same plant, right? I read somewhere that A. spiralis is self-fertile, but other Albuca are not usually self-fertile. So confusing, if self-fertile why did your first attempt fail.
Thumb of 2016-04-12/Pistil/ee49fc

Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hybridizer Birds Seed Starter Cat Lover
Pollen collector Morning Glories Greenhouse Bookworm Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Image
Xeramtheum
Apr 12, 2016 1:40 PM CST
Mary, A. spiralis is not self fertile .. it's the other Abuca's that are. I used pollen from my spiralis, microwaved it and mixed it with fresh pollen. I was amazed it worked and am definitely going to be trying it on other plants that are not self fertile.
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

Unknown

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