embryo rescue?

J.E. Shields jshields@indy.net
Wed, 24 Nov 2004 14:42:39 PST
Hi Folks,

At 01:36 PM 11/24/2004 -0800, you wrote:
>what the heck is an embryo rescue?
>tsuh yang

Sometimes in crosses, if the genetics of the two parents are not compatible 
enough, an embryo will form (ovule in the flower's ovary + pollen gives an 
embryo) but no endosperm.  Also, because of  insufficient hormone 
production by the fertilized ovary, the fruit eventually aborts.

However, sometimes, if one removes the embryonic seed from the flower ovary 
-- would-be seed pod -- and if one then places the embryo on plant tissue 
culture nutrient medium, the embryo will still develop into a plant.

In the wide crosses like Nerine X Lycoris and Crinum X Hippeastrum, it 
would probably always be necessary to use embryo rescue tissue culture to 
get the hybrid plant.

Especially in the world of Clivia, many wide crosses have been attempted 
using Clivia as the seed or berry parent.  Success has often been claimed, 
but these have never so far as I know been carried out rigorously enough to 
preclude the possibility of accidental self-pollination of the Clivia from 
its own pollen or that of another Clivia in the neighborhood.  Clivia 
pollen is very light and fluffy.  If you walk briskly past a blooming 
clivia, there will be a faint cloud of Clivia pollen blown off into the 
surrounding air by your wake.  The resulting "hybrids" almost always turn 
out to look just like an ordinary Clivia.

So successfully making a very wide intergeneric hybrid is not a simple 
thing to do.

I hope this helps explain the process and why it is used.

Jim Shields
in central Indiana

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:    http://www.shieldsgardens.com/
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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