introducing myself, and Habranthus tubispathus

Crane, Charles F.
Fri, 28 Dec 2012 11:21:04 PST
Good afternoon to the mailing list.
The setup instructions ask new users to introduce themselves to the members of the mailing list, so here I am.  My degrees are in botany (B.S., 1971, Iowa State, and Ph.D., 1978, University of Texas at Austin), and my dissertation research included crossing experiments and microscopic documentation of reproduction in Zephyranthes and Habranthus.  Many of these species are apomictic, and I was interested in the genetic basis of their apomixis, since the trait could be useful in crop breeding.  I have been through several career changes since 1978, but I have retained a side interest in apomixis.  I have been able to build up two populations of Habranthus tubispathus, from College Station and San Marcos, Texas, plus populations of Zephyranthes pulchella (provided by Yucca Do), Z. jonesii (ditto), and Z. smallii (from my dissertation research), on a greenhouse bench here at Purdue.  I find that these can be grown from seed to seed in 12-13 months here, and that all but Z. pulche
 lla flower reliably upon watering with Purdue's tap water during the summer, once the bulbs have accumulated enough heat degree-days.  Zephyranthes pulchella flowers reliably only if waterlogged, which I do by setting the pot in a cut-off gallon milk jug full of water.  I have also found that the seeds can be stored safely at -20 degrees Celsius.
The cross of H. tubispathus x Z. pulchella pollen produces around 0.5% seeds with twin embryos, where one embryo is maternal and the other is presumably androgenetic, i.e., haploid Z. pulchella in the cytoplasm of H. tubispathus.  The production of unequal twins occurs at about the same frequency in H. tubispathus selfed.  In neither case do the weaker twins survive past the production of a second leaf, indicating a high load of recessive lethals in both species, and/or a high frequency of adjacent disjunction from chromosomal translocation multivalents.  Attempts to produce similar twin sets from Z. smalli x Z. pulchella and Z. jonesii x Z. pulchella have failed to produce twins, indicating a more obligate routing of the sperm nucleus away from the egg nucleus during hemigamy in those species.
My ulterior motive to join the mailing list is to acquire seeds or bulbs of a third genotype of H. tubispathus in order to produce a mapping population that is segregating for apomixis.  I would prefer "H. andersonii var roseus", since I know that that will readily set seed on Texan H. tubispathus.  The cream-colored H. andersonii should also work.  If anyone is interested in exchanging seeds, they can contact me directly at to arrange shipment with the appropriate permit information and mailing labels.  My physical mailing address is:

Charles Crane
USDA-ARS and Department of Botany and Plant Pathology
Purdue University
915 W. State St.
W. Lafayette, IN 47907-2054

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