Utricularia pollination and in-vitro propagation

From: Loyd Wix (Loyd.Wix@unilever.com)
Date: Fri Jan 22 1999 - 05:28:02 PST

Date: 22 Jan 1999 13:28:02 Z
From: Loyd Wix <Loyd.Wix@unilever.com>
To: cp@opus.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <aabcdefg188$foo@default>
Subject: Utricularia pollination and in-vitro propagation

          Dear All,
          I have been able to generate seed by self pollinating some
          of the large S.American Utricularia species such as
          U.reniformis. This is quite simple to do with a small brush
          as the reproductive structures of the flowers are quite
          large by comparison with more diminutive species.
          Such seed is viable but short lived
>_U. humboldtii_ germinated immediately (you could actually
>see the plant emerge from the seed coat a few hours after
>sowing). As probably most of the readers on this list know
>(I write this for those who did not know yet), _U.
>humboldtii_ has a green embryo in the transparent testa, so
>it is in fact "germinated" already before it is sown. Old
>seeds with brown embryos are generally dead. Some plants of
>this species should still be in cultivation (in vitro) at
>several places.
          Was this the seed I sent you some years ago? If you would
          like to get some more in cultivation I may be able to help
          in several weeks time.
          I have never managed to generate seed on my U.alpina plant
          which flowers regularly - this 'clone' does not appear to
          form pollen. I understand that this plant was originally
          from in-vitro and that other plants of U.alpina will quite
          happily set seed. Is there any possibility of the hormones
          etc in the growth media interfering with the plants
          biochemistry effectively making it sterile? There are other
          reports of in-vitro plants 'going wrong' in the UK -
          Pinguicula which constantly divide but never flower, others
          which do not know what time of year it is and form winter
          rosettes in mid summer. There was also a Heliamphora
          circulating 9 or 10 years ago which just like Peter Pan
          never grew up and kept forming juvenile pitchers until most
          people got fed up with it and replaced it with clones which
          do produce adult pitchers. I would be interested to know
          whether these observations are purely anecdotal or whether
          in-vitro cultivation can lead to subsequent problems when
          the plants are unflasked.
          PS A phone call from my wife informs me that Lowries Vol.3.
          has just arrived through my letter box - I can't wait to get
          home this evening!

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