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crossing the ploidy boundary

Posted by berrytea4me Z5 CO (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 31, 09 at 11:13

continued from another thread....

some context for anyone who wasn't following it..

The discussion was around crossing tetrapoloid daylilies, such as Ed Murray, that will occasionally set viable seed with diploids in order to produce natural tetraploids without the use of chemical conversions (such as colchicine).

The question was asked "Why?"

Well, the reasons I am looking into this avenue intially are that first, I have a breeding goal that combines a trait only found in diploids today with a trait only found in tetraploids today. I have small children at home and do not want to have the dangerous chemicals around. So doing a conversion attempt myself is out. I could find someone to attempt the conversion for me- and may follow that route in parallel to exploring natural crosses across the ploidy boundary.

But, secondly, on a broader view, today's tetraploid daylilies are the result of a small segment of the diploid gene pool having been chemically converted by hybridizers who selected from the current hybrids of the day.

With other plants, such as bearded iris, where the conversion to tetraploidy began much earlier, more of the original gene pool was preserved in the conversions. This is because the conversions were initially done through dedication of a group of hybridizers in the early 1920s who took the time to cross breed the diploid species plants with naturally occuring tetraploid species- thus transferring a larger set of the original gene pool to tetraploid. Today nearly all modern bearded iris are tetraploid. The only time a hybridizer has to worry about ploidy mis-match is when they are working with species or historics.

Does it take longer, yes. Will it result in negative traits being added back in, yes, in the short term. The earliest work in tetraploid conversions resulted in lots of mud & lots of infertility issues. Still, the long term the merits of a broader gene pool, IMHO, probably outweigh those detriments.

Just food for thought. Other viewpoints, comments & opinions?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

"secondly, on a broader view, today's tetraploid daylilies are the result of a small segment of the diploid gene pool having been chemically converted by hybridizers who selected from the current hybrids of the day"

Where.. did that segment of dips come from.. from a scant few species crosses. So.. what is the advantage to going back to the old form/source? If anything.. the dip gene pool IS a problem in itself.. lacking vigor and intelligent selection via past crosses.

There's things written per the limitations of the tet gene pool.. that is largely nonsense.. from this view: tet inheritance is dual.. one character by and large is dominate over the matching set of info... from EACH parent. So one gets a certain insulation from easily passing recessive negative characters.. (see Reckamps).

The game is still selection.. to sound breeding goals. The face and face fade is not sound.. and we're seeing this now.. clearly.

Fine by me if anyone goes their own direction... that is not an issue to me. Thing is.. are the modern tets getting better? Are they more hardy? Are the colors expressed in your garden away from the ponied up internet pics close to what is promised?

I hear from z7 and z8 growers that FL daylilies DIE when they get "cold" weather. Amazing.. shows how specific genetics can get regionally.. or inside green houses.

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

Can you explain this a bit more?

"There's things written per the limitations of the tet gene pool.. that is largely nonsense.. from this view: tet inheritance is dual.. one character by and large is dominate over the matching set of info... from EACH parent. So one gets a certain insulation from easily passing recessive negative characters.. (see Reckamps)."

I'm genuinely interested to understand it but don't have enough context.

"Where.. did that segment of dips come from.. from a scant few species crosses"

I'm not sure if I agree with this. I think it's well documented that Stout, as early as the 1850s was working with multiple species crosses and that he and others added more species to the mix as they were discovered and made available throughout the early 1900s.

However, I will note also that line breeding was the preferred direction even that early. In fact, there were only a few in the 1930s who believed they should outcross with the latest developments in other hybridizer's lines every 3 or 4 generations in order to minimize negative traits.

Line breeding by its very nature excludes both positive & negative traits that are not within the narrow focus of the hybridizers chosen goals.

Reckamp was considered a rebel because he largely bred for breaks instead of the accepted line-breeding to rigid goals. Yet his work is recognized by some today as a largely untapped gene pool to work with in SPufs- a variation in form.

Tet conversions didn't begin in earnest until the early 1960s so how many daylily generations is that away from the species of the 1800s? How many of those narrowed lines available in the 1960s were converted? How much of the gene pool was lost due to highly selective line breeding that was, at that time, focused primarily on color development to the exclusion of other traits?

I do agree careful selection is important for all desired traits regardless of whether one is using line-breeding or pretty x pretty.

The hardiness & disease resistance issues seen both ways from north->south or south->north could come as much from line-breeding as from outcrossing. It is a flaw with the quality trials & selection process as much as it is from poorly researched crosses. In fact it could be reinforced by close line-breeding w/o frequent enough outcrosses or outcrosses that do not reach far enough out to be any more than a longer backcross.

I'm just curious what restrictive line breeding has left behind and I suspect my thinking is similar to what people like Reckamp may have been thinking in terms of looking for breaks. The thing about breeding for breaks is that it is rarely appreciated at the time due to it not fitting in with the popular fad or "tastes" of the dominant crowd at that point in time.

I truly believe there is a valid use and place for both line breeding with strict goals and out-of-box crosses that allow the daylily to show us what surprises it really has in it. I also believe there is a place for going backward to pick up "lost" traits that may be considered appealing now as a base of colors have been well set and other traits are of interest to a more relaxed & creative thinking culture.

Each of these methods is a tool in the box available to be used when needed.

In 1937 h. fulva 'rosea' set the daylily hybridizers on fire with the thought that maybe clean reds and pinks were soon to be discovered. Some held out believing they could reach those colors through other avenues. Who was right? I believe both eventually proved their theories, just at different times.

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

The Reckamp strain is largely a repetitive flower.. and many of these plants show very negative characters.. muddiness.. bud dropping.. very slow growth. I wouldn't say he bred for 'breaks'.. ie, mostly what he deemed a flower to be. Angels Smile for instance was really an afterthought flower.. making it name via southern hybridizers starting out.. gold edge craze.

One can type forever.. debate till the cows come home and deposit said compost to mature and grow the next decade's seedlings. Facts are: not equal ploidy crosses are the venue of those enamored with such. Everyone to their own thing.. . the monkey wrench into the fertility area is enough to slow or stop any real gains in those areas. The odd duck.. the unusual in our society so often takes precedence.. a quirk of human nature.

I'm only concerned with genetics that can improve a hybridizing program.. far north. This involves some work..
and running down tangents and theorizin' about such is a waste of time... from my view. Each to their own though. Good Luck with yours!

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

berrytea4me, there is some value in what you are thinking. When I first started buying tetraploid daylilies (being bred mostly in the South at the time), I was shocked and surprised to find that they did not grow and bloom like the daylilies that I got in those early years from Gilbert H. Wild.

Personally, I'd like to see someone convert a couple of the older Gilbert Wild diploids. They were hardy, vigorous, beautiful (albeit a bit old fashioned by today's standards) and there was none of this fussing about opening on cooler mornings. Getting those genes into a Northern hybridizing program would be a real shot in the arm, and probably bring long forgotten (and valuable) genes into the gene pool.

I have often reached back to older daylilies and brought them forward into my breeding program. Everyone seems to be trying to hit a home run (and I am no exception *giggle*), and daylilies like Ed Brown and America's Most Wanted have been used to DEATH in a large majority of breeding programs and that IS indeed narrowing the gene pool. Some of the older daylilies still have alot to offer. You should never be afraid to "dare to be different." (In fact, I encourage it! ~winkwink~)

And as far as Reckamps go, they do all look similar, but some of them are real gangbuster growers with great branching and bud count. Some of them are ho-hum. One of my favorites is Moon Jazz and I use it alot in my program.

The older tet Moldovan's might be a good place to start testing your theories. Let us know what you find out!

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

"Personally, I'd like to see someone convert a couple of the older Gilbert Wild diploids" writes keystonecrossroads.

Which ones and why?

Your right per some of the Reckamps... I do use those. By and large what that strain needs is a good outcross. I'd guess that is being done at Song Sparrow now.

berrytea4me: Hopefully my straight answer wasn't taken personally.. as that was not the intent. My rationale is just mine.. which I believe sound advice. My suggestion is to take up the cause of diploid breeding if your into challenges and the unbeaten path. Some success there and they'd beat a path to your door!

The issue topic is CROSS POLIDY.. not conversions... :)

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

The Wilds are worth converting just for the plant habit. They came up every year and did their thing. I didn't have to spray for bugs. I didn't even know what Spring Sickness was until I grew tetraploids. There was no leaf streak that I can recall. They were just good, carefree, solid little Northern daylilies.

I'd convert American Revolution and American Folklife just for the color. I remember really liking Sand Sandals and Camelot Rose for a variety of reasons. The one I would covet above all as a conversion is Kindly Gift.

Just to stay on topic r.e. cross ploidy crosses: Berrytea, I was quite surprised to see that bearded irises can cross ploidy with alot more success than daylilies. Intermediate bearded irises are usually the result of a cross between standard dwarf and tall bearded irises. This results in some genetic weirdness, and intermediate irises were long thought to be sterile because of it.

Of course, no one told ME this so I was running around my garden making crosses with intermediate irises using both pod and pollen. It is true that you don't have the same rate of successful crossses, and you usually don't get the seed count from intermediate crosses. But I will have some of these crosses bloom (hopefully) this year in my garden. Not sure what I will get-- they could be Frankensteins. But they could just as easily be the start of something big.

Sorry about any spelling errors-- I'm a little tired tonight. :-)

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

No offense taken, notherndaylily. My own communication style is sometimes abrupt so I take care not to get offended when others have the same style.

My apologies. I've been reading a lot of daylily history & hybridizer stories over the past couple weeks and I realize now that I inadvertently mixed up Lambert with Reckamp. My comment above about breeding for breaks in form should have been a statement about Lambert.

Reckamp, however, may have been the first to put the gold edge on tet's. I believe he followed line breeding (??) He was an early experimenter with colchicine seed conversions, a process that did set many of its early advocates back in terms of muddiness and other undesired traits. Later hybridizers, however, received the benefits once they worked the negative traits back out.

Crossing the ploidy boundary, whether through chemicals or cross pollination does seem to have that setback risk in early generations of the plant. The resulting breaks take longer to realize.

While conversions provide results faster, they limit the gene pool.

I'm so new to this that I have not set myself on working with only tet or only dip. I'm using both and probably will continue to do so until I either run out of room and have to make hard decision or until I see some results that steer me toward a specific direction found only in one or the other.

keystonecrossroads, actually I read that about iris (more of my winter history reading) and that is what triggered some of my thoughts about this subject in daylilies. I started playing with iris crosses this year too. Mostly I'm just trying to figure out how to get the darn seeds to germinate right now :(

Thanks for keeping the discussion going. Right now I don't have enough land to use for much of this longer term type of experimentation but I'm really trying to learn & understand some of the different viewpoints. I may try a few specific crosses just to see what turns up. My primary goal in that would not be to bring something to market so much as to leave something useful for future generations of hybridizers, to in some way improve the broader daylily gene pool. The benefits may well be that type that are beyond my lifetime.

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

Iris seeds need to be planted in the fall and left to the freeze/thaw cycle all winter. They won't germinate without it.

I start mine in pots and just sit them outside. You will still be getting germination for a couple of years from the same cross.

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

"Crossing the ploidy boundary, whether through chemicals or cross pollination does seem to have that setback risk in early generations of the plant. The resulting breaks take longer to realize" writes berrytea4me.

Crossing polidy or conversions.. the net effect is usually the intensified effect of said unreduced gamates. That effect is seen along a multitude of characters... expressed to the eye and otherwise. Selecton in the end determines the outcomes in the future.. more than the gene pool itself.

Per converting the Wild's... I have a dip here that is an excellent plant.. an unknown. Yet I get no urge to convert that one.. as it's sum total of all grades is not going to carry forward with any desired effect. Not saying a 'blast from the past' wouldn't be a good idea.. but that selection would have to be done with some long range planning. A possible.........

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

I personally feel that diploid conversion is the best route to improve (expand) the tet gene pool.

When I make a cross of two parents, on average, I will keep less than 1% of the crop, if any. Many seedlings just aren't an improvement on the parents. If I am converting a diploid, then I am trying to convert the best of a particular cross and a plant that I feel has superior genes, at least superior genes for traits I feel are lacking in the tet gene pool.

It is true that many inferior traits were injected into the tet gene pool in the early days, but it was because there was no control over the quality of the plants that were converted. Seed conversion just doesn't give you any way to judge the quality of the resulting converted plant.

I think conversion of a specific plant, whether it be by crown treatment, scape or flower, is much more productive than the results of any cross ploidy pollination. If the odds of unreduced gametes occurrence are 1 in 15,000 and the odds of a good plant resulting from that cross placed at around 1 in 1000. The odds are that you will not see results in your life time. I don't feel the possibility of meaningful results are good enough to justify spending my time pursuing them.

But I admire anyone with a passion and am always interested in the results.

And I think Reckamp used line breeding exclusively. I remember from somewhere, 'Angel's Smile' is F7 generation.

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

"And I think Reckamp used line breeding exclusively. I remember from somewhere, 'Angel's Smile' is F7 generation.

That is the rumor.. saw a pedigree once that wasn't that 'tight'. In real terms an F7 is continuos crossing between parents and sibs..and backcrossing. Don't seem to remember it being that closely related.

Linebreeding. Is a well worm term everywhere.. but it just denotes for me a weaker version of inbreeding. Setting aside math, stats and PHD type high brow stuff.. I define linebreeding as an inbreeding system that manages inbred depression to a managable degree. Some high brow's would definitely quibble per that definer no doubt.. yet what I mean is culling a defined set of negative characters. IE.. getting a feel if you will for a line and then carrying on with the stock that expresses the strong characters desired while showing little of what is not wanted. Easy to type.. MUCH harder to do. My favorite cross in canines was first cousins.. IF.. if the mates match up. And that again is the key to any breeding endeavor.. the matches.. the why's.. the why not's... staying focused.

Humans bred many things for 1000's of yrs.. sans Mendel.. the high brow angles.. just good common sense applied to a goal. Requires more sweat than anything else........

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

I guess where my head is going on this now is that it might be nice to have some very near species tets to backcross into certain lines on occasion. Maybe something from each species x a common, just for giggles say ED MURRAY, so that it is consistent/predictable cross with each of the species. Then maybe take those to F2 culling out obviously weak plants irrespective of the face.

I'm not necessarily talking about starting over on all hybridizing from scratch but giving the option of wider gene pool to explore.

Ya'll have me going back to do my homework. I've dug out a 430+ page document I downloaded awhile ago called "Hemerocallis Species, Hybrids, and Genetics" written by Terrence McCarty. Heavy reading but very interesting.

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

berrytea4me I went and downloaded your book last eve.. and skimmmed it this morn. Got to the 300's and then flushed it. With respect to the author.. I see no point to 'bean counter-i-dess'. I guess if one is into models.. theory.. history it works. But is has nothing to do with the art of hybridizing.

Again.. consider that human's breeding efforts for millenia centered on OBSERVATION.. 'what works with what'. Selection went by what they desired... they bred like characters and very often inbred to fix/stack the gene pool with that expression. Wading back into the species genetics is a waste of time.. as the many have recently done such.. and their not hard to find on the net. Yes some things could be gained.. IF someone took the time to REFINE and consolidate this.. being FOCUSED to a goal vs scattering pollen like the vast majority of amateurs.

I mean.. where are any of the species forms of any monetary value today? Mostly they can't hardly be given away. Often novel idle ideas sound appealing.. and disappear once a little sweat is spent.. those results of no real value.. to the many. Largely the DL game is a fad driven arena where the odd.. the hype.. the ignorance of the newbies... is the currency being valued. Some of these migrating types hang around and sooner or later learn to value quality daylilies... that market slot will always require filling per the trend today of much LESS quality all around.

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

Here's one to whet the whistle of the 'nature induced' tet fans. Be something interesting to see first hand....

Here is a link that might be useful: Ploidy Cross.. the plant

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

Yes, I'm familiar with Nich Chase's work and thought I had posted a link here but I guess it was in another discussion.

That is exactly the idea I'm talking about. Take a good plant like EM across as many species as you can get to take its pollen trying to produce tetraploid offspring. Then maybe expand that idea as he tried to do by trying to get crosses with other good base color parents that will cross the boundary to produce tets from the species. The results are a set of hybridizer's tools.

I really think it could be valuable for the tetrapliod genes as a whole. And yes, it has to come with selection by observation & quality test. No hybridizing is useful w/o that factor.

Nick's h. fulva seedling is really a nice looking plant from a species cross with that clean red coloring.

I'm not sure I agree with your assessment of the daylily market and I certainly hope that hybridizing is about more than the almight $$$. I know that plays into it as does the drive for fame and the drive to create something "unique" (vanity?) it but I also know that most of those I interact with in the daylily world are not so short sighted or shallow to be ALL about those things.

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

"I'm not sure I agree with your assessment of the daylily market and I certainly hope that hybridizing is about more than the almight $$$. I know that plays into it as does the drive for fame and the drive to create something "unique" (vanity?) it but I also know that most of those I interact with in the daylily world are not so short sighted or shallow to be ALL about those things"

I hope your right on that count too.

How many people are actively working with Implausablility I wonder.....?

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

Hmm, ran across this today. Looks like someone else is exploring this and by the looks of their results I'd say it isn't such a bad idea.

Here is a link that might be useful: crossing tets with h. fulva species

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

I guess that guy has done more than just type about crossing them.

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

The best sucess I have had in getting seeds from Diploid X Tetraploid crosses have been with the Korean form of H. fulva, almost every cross produces a few seeds, so far the highest numbe in a pod was 7. It also accepts dploid pollen, and when you cross it that way you get higher numbers.

I have also crossed H. fulva Europa with Tetraploid pollen, and if you do it enough you will get some seeds, but after doing probably over 1000 crosses I gotless han 20 seeds. I just pollinate the whole clump when I am finshed with everything else for the day. I never bothered to tag any since almost every cross yeilds a pod, but most are empty and abort.

I am really interested in seeing if I can get anything with this sport of H. fulva Kwanso that showed up in my garden last summer. I will be pollinating it with Tet pollen this year. Oddly enough the original fans were purchased as RASPBERRY STAR at a Daylily club finction about 5 years ago. I was less than pleased when it bloomed for the first time, especially since I planted it right in the middle of a bed.

I have only seen this type of marking on one other seedling that Ed posted over on Tinkers.

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

Thanks for sharing your experience. That Kwanso sport is really interesting. Love the broken pattern. Makes you wonder what it could pass on.

I think I may have solved my space issues for the short term anyway. I spoke with the organizer of our local community garden which is just a few blocks from my house. They are more than willing to rent me plots for seedling use that don't have to be tilled anually.

So, I may actually start on this project in the coming season. For species to work with I have a lot of h. fulva 'Europa'. Plus I have some h. fulva 'Kwanso' and what I suspect is h. fulva 'Flore Pleno' that each came labeled only as "doubles" from a local club sale some years ago. They finally bloomed this past season so that to my horror I discovered they have been mixing their rhizomes all over with a few named varieties which are now either dead or completely buried in the mass of species rhizomes....including my 'Ed Murray' which has not bloomed in at least 5 years so I'm guessing it's gone.

Sounds like I should look for some of the Korean h. fulva as well. Are there other species that take tet pollen well or is it mainly those that are triploid?

Is there anything in particular I should look for in terms of the tet's to use? Are some of them better pollen parents than others when crossed with the species?

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

berrytea4me - Do you have a link to that article "Hemerocallis Species, Hybrids, and Genetics"? I would love to take a look at it.

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

Here is Dr McGarty's website at MIT.

Look under the "papers" tab near the bottom of the page you'll find 2 papers on gene expression in plants.

Also on the "publications" page he has a draft for a 2009 book on color expression in hem's.

Individual lectures on the subjects are listed on the "Genetic Modelling" tab.

Interesting, I had not looked at his bio before and just discovered that I was implementing some of his satcomm technologies years ago when I worked for the navy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dr. Terrence P. McGarty

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

Very interesting article by Gil Stelter about his work using h. fulva x Tetraploid. Several generations of pictures included.

Starts on page 11 of the newsletter

Here is a link that might be useful: region 2 newsletter fall/winter 2005

RE: crossing the ploidy boundary

I know Gil Stelter. He is a retired university history teacher. I have been to his garden twice. An interesting thing with Gil's garden is that he has it in Chronological order.
Gil has a 2009 into out of (H. fulva ‘Hankow’ x ‘All American Chief’) X ‘Robb Cobb) Gryphon Chinese Fire

Here is a link that might be useful: Gryphon Chinese Fire

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