Daylilies forum: seeds or pollen from tissue cultured daylilies?

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Name: Brenda
Winnipeg, south of (Zone 3a)
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echoes
Aug 14, 2016 3:19 PM CST
Just pondering this notion and wonder if anyone here has tried and what the results were. I still have a few tc's around here.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 15, 2016 5:27 AM CST
Could you elaborate, I'm not sure I understand what the question is. Also not sure I'll know the answer but someone else might.
Name: Brenda
Winnipeg, south of (Zone 3a)
Cat Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Lilies Roses Daylilies
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echoes
Aug 15, 2016 7:15 AM CST
If you use a tissue cultured daylily as a parent, will it work? Will you get seeds that germinate and grow something interesting, healthy, possibly worth the time and effort? Somebody, somewhere, has to have tried it and come to some conclusions.

Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Aug 15, 2016 8:52 AM CST
If anyone would know it would be Maurice. Hope he can answer your question.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Aug 15, 2016 8:55 AM CST
There is no reason to expect a tissue cultured plant to be different from a vegetatively divided plant. The answer is that if you have a tissue cultured plant, and the same cultivar that was vegetatively divided and you use them as parents then there will be no specific differences in their seedlings.

A vegetatively divided plant (digging a clump and dividing it into single, double or multiple fans) relies on the plant taking normal cells and supplying them with the appropriate conditions to make them turn into special cells that become axillary meristems.

A tissue cultured plant relies on providing normal cells with the appropriate conditions to make them turn into special cells that become meristems. It attempts to duplicate the types of conditions that plants themselves use to create axillary meristems from normal cells.

I find it interesting that no one worries about using proliferations as normal divisions. Actually proliferations are quite abnormal. They require abnormal conditions in the plant for their creation. In normal conditions the reproductive meristem creates scape branches and flowers. For a proliferation to be created the reproductive meristem experiences abnormal conditions that cause it to become a vegetative meristem. Those abnormal conditions will probably involve abnormal plant hormone conditions.
Maurice
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Aug 15, 2016 9:03 AM CST
Maurice, would that (abnormal conditions) also apply to the daylily relative Chlorophytum, which also produces plantlets on flowering stems? I have a vague recollection that in Chlorophytum it is in response to light, maybe photoperiod.
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Aug 15, 2016 9:27 AM CST
sooby said:Maurice, would that (abnormal conditions) also apply to the daylily relative Chlorophytum, which also produces plantlets on flowering stems? I have a vague recollection that in Chlorophytum it is in response to light, maybe photoperiod.

The only research I have found on Chlorophytum reversion is in German and therefore not readable by me. I imagine whether its reversion is considered abnormal or normal might depend on whether the environmental effects can occur normally during natural flowering in the wild or they require "unusual" conditions perhaps associated with domestication or growth and flowering inside buildings, etc.
There are probably plant species where reversion is natural, that is, it occurs normally in "wild" natural growing conditions and locations.

Maurice
Name: Brenda
Winnipeg, south of (Zone 3a)
Cat Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Lilies Roses Daylilies
Peonies Irises Hostas Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Region: Canadian
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echoes
Aug 15, 2016 9:54 AM CST
Ok, I think I get the drift, Maurice. I think you are telling me that if I use my poorer quality Startle or El Desperado as parents, it would give me the same results as if I had used the "original" plants. Too late to try this year, but maybe there are some seed pods out there.
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
Hybridizer Irises Butterflies Charter ATP Member Birds Cat Lover
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Hemlady
Aug 16, 2016 7:10 AM CST
Maurice, are you saying that a proliferation can produce a plant that is not necessarily exactly like the parent plant???
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Aug 16, 2016 9:09 AM CST
Hemlady said:Maurice, are you saying that a proliferation can produce a plant that is not necessarily exactly like the parent plant???

Actually, even a normal division can produce a plant that is not exactly like the parent plant. When these are obviously, visibly different, they are called "sports". In some of the plant species used in gardens many of the cultivars are related because they were produced by sports.

Unfortunately, producing a plant in any way, naturally or not, involves the possibility of errors. Not just the chance of an error occurring but the almost inescapable result of the errors that will occur with time. Some of the errors are mutations - genetic changes.

A new individual plant starts when the two cells (one from the pod parent and the other from the pollen parent) unite to produce one cell with the normal number of chromosomes and total genetic material. That single cell has to grow and divide into two new cells and they have to grow and divide and so on until there are millions and millions of cells that make the adult plant. Each time a cell divides there is a chance that there will be an error in duplicating the genetic material. Even though that chance is very small, because there are millions of cells in an adult plant there will be many cells with errors. The more a plant is vegetatively propagated the more errors will be accumulated. Those errors will nearly never be obviously visible to the naked eye since in a diploid an error would have to occur in the same gene in which a previous error had occurred for it to become visible (and it would need to be in a character that was obvious to the naked eye). In a tetraploid it would require errors in all four copies of a gene for it to become visible typically. However, their effects may be measureable using experimental techniques and by examining characteristics such as fertility, growth rates, etc.

The simplest example of this is with the Easter lily in the US. Only a few major producers grow most of the crop. They are reproduced by bulbs (vegetatively). There is only one apparent clone "Nellie White". Bulbs from the different growers should be more or less genetically identical - they are not. There are also noticeable differences in the plants from bulbs from different growers. This clone has existed for about the last 60 years so has accumulated genetic differences during that time as expected.

The scientific term for the genetic effects of continued asexual or vegetative propagation/division is Muller's ratchet.
Maurice
[Last edited by admmad - Aug 16, 2016 10:19 AM (+)]
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Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Aug 16, 2016 9:42 AM CST
Thanks. That explains why years ago I planted a prolif from a daylily and did not get a plant that looked exactly like the parent plant. I had first reported this on DG and almost everyone did not believe this was possible so I really tried to not try and convince anyone that this had happened.
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Name: Gerry Donahue
Pleasant Lake, IN (Zone 5b)
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profesora
Aug 17, 2016 4:41 AM CST
Maurice, do you define "sports" and "mutation" differently when talking about plants?
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Aug 17, 2016 7:39 AM CST
profesora said:Maurice, do you define "sports" and "mutation" differently when talking about plants?

Unfortunately, I probably use "sport" loosely and so may use it differently from "mutation".
With the term mutation we also have the term mutant and mutate. I can write a gene can mutate creating a mutation which when homozygous results in a mutant individual.
With the term sport I can write a gene can sport to create a sport which when homozygous results in a sport.

Bottom line is that I am more likely to use the term sport as a replacement for mutant meaning an individual showing the changed characteristic while I do not use it (or am less likely to use it) instead of mutate or mutation.

Maurice
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Aug 17, 2016 7:30 PM CST
I did not know this at all!

So a daylily division should create an identical plant whereas a prolif produced and growing on a scape may not?

Are the prolifs "typically" close to identical to the parent plant it was produced by?

Cindy - Do you have a photo of the bloom prolif and the parent daylily that were not identical. I'd love to see the differences.
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Name: Gerry Donahue
Pleasant Lake, IN (Zone 5b)
Hostas Garden Ideas: Master Level
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profesora
Aug 17, 2016 8:23 PM CST
Thank you, Maurice.

I work a lot with hostas and I have developed mutants that have shown up in my gardens. Many people who have hostas do not know that most variegated hostas are mutants. It is very rare to find a variegated seedling among hostas.
[Last edited by profesora - Aug 18, 2016 5:28 AM (+)]
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Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Aug 18, 2016 6:47 AM CST
Becky, I doubt if I have any pics because it was way long ago, maybe 15 years ago. Actually, if I did have some pics they would probably be on 35mm, that's how long ago it was. I do know that the mother plant was Lighthouse Neon Galaxy, which is here in the database.
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Aug 18, 2016 8:51 AM CST
@beckygardener
beckygardener said:So a daylily division should create an identical plant whereas a prolif produced and growing on a scape may not?

Both a daylily division and a prolif may not create a genetically identical plant.

Are the prolifs "typically" close to identical to the parent plant it was produced by?

Both will be close to identical to the parent plant the vast majority of the time.

No method of reproducing a plant is perfect. That is because the fundamental processes in the plant itself are not perfect.

Recall that when a daylily fan flowers it uses up its growing point (shoot apical meristem). It must make a replacement. In making that replacement errors can be present naturally and those errors once made will remain with the plant more or less forever. Errors occur rarely but without fail when enough cells are produced.

To make a proliferation the plant starts making a scape. As it does so it uses up its meristem which is a reproductive meristem. That is, when the plant makes a branch on the scape the meristem becomes smaller. When the plant makes a flower bud its meristem becomes smaller. At some point an accident occurs and the outside environment plus the plant's internal environment (probably mainly its plant hormones) acts to turn the reproductive meristem back into a vegetative meristem. It is possible that the number of cells in the meristem is less than the number that typically is in a normal vegetative meristem. However, the number of cells in a meristem depends on the size of the meristem and that most likely depends on the size of the fan.

The reason I mentioned the proliferations is that they are produced by the plant in an untypical way. The plant turns a reproductive meristem back into a vegetative meristem. To do that it is likely that the plant hormones are not normal. Micropropagation of a plant turns plant cells into meristems by manipulating the plant hormones. Of course when a plant makes a normal replacement meristem it has to turn normal cells into meristems. Another method of making a new meristem would require dividing an existing meristem into two. However, my understanding is that daylilies do not divide apical meristems to make axillary meristems; they turn normal cells into new axillary meristems.

Most of the genetic changes that occur over time, even in a vegetatively propagated daylily will not be readily noticeable to a gardener.

The following is one example of how to check for such changes (simplified and leaving out many checks, controls, etc.).

Assume that two clumps of a particular cultivar have been growing separately for many years. I have two clumps of 'Coyote Moon' that have been separated for about 20 years.
Divide the two clumps into single fans. Label the fans of one clump as A and those of the other clump as B.
Choose one fan from A and then a fan from B that is as close as possible in size.
Plant the labelled fans of A and B in a new location in a random order say A then B.
Choose another fan from A and a fan from B that is as close as possible in size.
Plant the labelled fans of A and B in a different new location in random order (using the toss of dice to decide which fan gets planted first).
Keep repeating the two steps above until all the fans have been planted.
Treat every plant identically by measuring the amount of water and fertilizer each is given.
Some time later come back and measure some characteristics of the plants. The person measuring the characteristic should not know which plant is A and which is B. A second person will have that information.
Statistically analyze the measurements.

Or of course as an alternative one could have the DNA extracted from one fan from clump A and from one fan of clump B and compared.

A few more details of the Easter lily example.

The researchers took samples of lily bulbs (of the same cultivar) from different growers and compared the DNA. They were not identical. The growers know that their bulbs change with time. Below is a quote,

"Bulb producers are aware that mutations occur within their stock and undesirable variation builds up over time. To address this problem, periodically growers introduce a new line or somaclonal selection of ‘Nellie White’ into production. About every ten years, each bulb grower starts a new round of selections for the next new line. They go through the production fields at regular intervals and mark individual plants possessing desirable traits. In the beginning of the season over 2,000 plants may be marked, but by the end of the season typically 200 remain that made it through selection for important traits. Plants in the running at the end of the first season are propagated and observed in subsequent years in both field and greenhouse forcing tests. After a few years the best selection (tracing back to one bulb in the original year of selection) is mass propagated and then put into production."


Maurice
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
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beckygardener
Aug 18, 2016 8:40 PM CST
Interesting what you wrote, Maurice.

So, basically, they are slightly different, but typically not noticeable to the naked eye? Does there come a point in propagation where the difference does become noticeable in appearance?

How abnormal would a scape with 4-5 proliferations growing together be?
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Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
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admmad
Aug 18, 2016 9:56 PM CST
beckygardener said:So, basically, they are slightly different, but typically not noticeable to the naked eye? Does there come a point in propagation where the difference does become noticeable in appearance?

Quite likely, if one works with a cultivar in the same way and with the same numbers as the Easter lily growers do. For them the differences become too much about every ten years when they more or less reinitialize their bulb populations.

How abnormal would a scape with 4-5 proliferations growing together be?

Not very, unless it happened more or less all the time or the majority of the time for a specific cultivar in a specific location/with a specific history and did not happen for that cultivar in a nearby location growing in similar conditions but that had been separated from the other population for many generations/years (depending on how long it took a fan to flower).

Differences between two different fans of the same cultivar will be common. Most of the time two fans of the same cultivar will be different due to differences in growing environment, size, etc. Gardeners will not usually be in a position to identify any changes in cultivars due to inherited mutations that have been accumulated over time. To do so one must have different populations of the same cultivar that have been separated for many generations and that are then brought back into the same growing environment and compared.

Most differences in characteristics between different individual fans of the same cultivar noticed by daylily growers are environmental. There is no way a grower can identify whether any such differences are genetic except through rigorous, well designed objective experiments. Most environmental effects are temporary or short-term.
Maurice
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
Aug 19, 2016 5:12 AM CST
Maurice - Thank you so very much for the information. I learned something new about daylilies through this discussion! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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