Daylilies forum: Diploids, Triploids, Tetraploids, and now Hexaploids

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Name: Bob Watson
Terre Haute, IN (Zone 5b)
Feb 18, 2015 2:06 PM CST
Jamie Gossard (hybridizer from Ohio) is blowing the lid off of the daylily world (in my opinion). He is working on creating hexaploid daylilies by starting with triploids (dip x tet) and then doubling the chromosome count (same technique as is already done to turn dips into tets). Since triploids have 33 chromosomes, the hexaploids will have 66. Since this is an even number, hexaploids should be fertile with each other, possibly leading to new and exciting colors and forms.

No one knows what this will bring…likely more plant and flower size, possibly disease resistance, etc. This is as exciting a development as the creation of tetraploids several decades ago. More chromosomes means more genetic material to carry new traits. The journey to hexaploids will partly be in the lab since most triploid seeds don’t mature. Jamie reports that he harvests the seeds after just a couple of weeks and grows the embryos in agar, similar to tissue culture. After they mature, they’re ready for conversion.

Jamie says he will speak on his techniques at the Mid Winter Symposium (Feb 20-22 in Brookfield, WI) and at the National Convention (June 10-14th in Atlanta, GA) and will try to get a video of his talk linked to his website. I think this is going to make the next several decades of growing daylilies a wild ride!
My hat is off to Jamie for not only taking this big step, but openly sharing his techniques with the world. I found out about all of this through a Facebook Group, Monday Night Lights. This week, Jamie and Sandy Holmes shared the spotlight on their newest and best. The group rotates hybridizers each week, who showcase what they’re working on.

If any of you are on Facebook, you need to join the group, Monday Night Lights. You can do a name search for it. It’s an exciting daylily activity for February and March. Once you join the group, just go into Facebook on Monday nights at 7:20 E.S.T to watch it feed live, or any time up to a week after that to see what was presented. After a week, the slides disappear until next Monday night. If you aren’t on Facebook, it’s worth setting up an account just to be there on Monday nights. Bob
Name: Julie
Roanoke, VA (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Region: Virginia Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Heucheras Cat Lover Hummingbirder
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Feb 18, 2015 4:04 PM CST
Jamie's talk was quite interesting at MWS. It appears the days of test tube Hybridizing have arrived!
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
Feb 19, 2015 2:16 PM CST
Are there any mature flowering hexaploid daylilies yet?

A very scientifically interesting hexaploid would be the one created by doubling the ditchlily 'Europa' or the double ditchlily 'Kwanzo" (or flore pleno).
Name: Bob Watson
Terre Haute, IN (Zone 5b)
Feb 19, 2015 5:24 PM CST
Maurice, as far as I could tell from the presentation, mature plants are still several years away. I agree, it would be interesting to double some of the current triploid fulvas, but most breeders aren't working with the species. I guess that would be a job for someone like Gil Stelter (Gryphon Gardens in Guelph, Ontario). He has a number of interesting tetraploid fulva crosses. Bob

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