Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I got this email last week. Ian has been telling me that he wants me to make mutant plants... I'm still up for trying anything and everything. As always I appreciate any and all input!

Hi, Good luck with the pink dandelion project. Very interesting
My brother Anthony runs a horticulture extension and research facility for
NCSU in Fletcher North Carolina and commented on your project.

He thinks it can work it out.

I think so. If she can get the two or three species to interbreed and
produce viable seed, then perhaps a few plants might be pink. Usually, the
off colors are recessive genes, which means 25% of the population will be
pink while 75% will be yellow. If 100 seeds are produced, then 25 will be
pink. However, weeds are called weeds because they are weeds. They
routinely self-pollinate or they can produce seeds without pollination and
fertilization, which is called apomixes. Plants that self-pollinate or
produce seeds apomictally will all be yellow because they have not been
outcrossed to another dandelion. She has no way of knowing this because she
would have to test the chromosomes in the resulting seeds. She can control
pollinate the plants herself, but she would have to collect pollen from the
pink plant and dab it on the flower of the yellow plant, while
simultaneously emasculating the yellow plant so it does not pollinate
itself. Then she would have to cover the yellow plant with a bag so no
other pollen comes in. Who knows the reproductive biology of dandelions.
She can just keep the plants near one another and hope they outcross.

Good Luck


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