Pure species... can we improve on them using another pure..?

Brussels, Belgium

Pure species... can we improve on them using another pure species? I think we can. I don't think the famed Rothkirch, the elusive Rosa Kornett, or Goldenes Kornett are the best we can hope for with the pure aurea gene pool. I love looking for hard to root or rare Brugmansia aurea, but I encourage everyone who has a preference for one species or another to work with that species if they so choose to make it easier for people like me to find a good pure specimen. Many clamor after Rothkirch. Kaitlyn has been produced to answer that call for now. I see a future where we work with a pure species as well as with multi-hybrids. I have a few plans on crossing and back crossing a few wild aurea I have collected in hopes of creating a larger base of pure hybrids to work with that are easy to root, fast to grow, and perform better than the old wild counterparts currently available. There are many great hybridizers who have a pure aurea like Rosa Kornett or Goldenes Kornett in their collection for breeding their multi-hybrids... I've done a wee bit of research and many of my favorite Brugmansia have a heavy dose of aurea. For those who do not have a pure aurea or who have only one virus prone aurea to hybridize with their is currently little option except to simply utilize a hybrid that has strong aurea in it and watch as the cards fall where they may. Yes, many like this uncertainty to include myself. However, there comes a time when you want to bring a bit more certainty back into your multi-hybrids and that is best done with a pure species. Enough ranting here on that topic.

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

You never rant Eric. Always something to learn in either new methods or new theories. It very exicting stuff to me. Love picking brains and every post is something valuable to store ahead for the future.

Before I forget to ask again, I have been meaning to ask you. I have no idea off hand where all the pure species are found, but is it worth me asking some friends in South Africa and South America to look for brug seeds for me? I know I can't get the plants. I probably coudl with the proper documentation but figure they might die in quarenteen before getting here. Figured would see if I could get seeds and then share them out.

Sydney, Australia

Love your "ranting" Eric ...^_^

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

Spent the night thinking about your question. Yes, I think you can. If I have a pure of one species, that has say an unappealing shape to it or bud drop, I would want to get a pure species of another type that would have those qualities I am breeding for and mate them.

I think for some parts of the world and folks who love brugs, even though that cross would be a hybrid, they are needed. I would only be wanting to make those that had postive qualities and good disease resistance though.

One thing I have noticed with the brug hybrids is that they seem to retain their scents. So many other flowers are being breed for disease resistance or a pretty new face and in doing so the beauty of fragrance has been breed out of them. Are the brugs retaining their fragrance because there are so few pure species in cultivation and known?

Pulling part of the post from the other thread.

"Now, considering that most Brugmansia are not self fertile, a good indicator that you are getting close to a pure cross might be when that seedling refused to cross back to its mom. The problem with that is incompatibility is regulated by very specific genes as well. "

Thank you, I learned something I didn't realize. I would have just thought of incompatibility as the only cause the cross wouldn't take.

Have patience with me, trying to work my pea brain around some theories. I know what I think, but have a hard time tryign to get the words out right sometimes.

So if I get to the point where I can't get the cross to take anymore. Even though my seedling wil be a hybrid, would it be considered a better hyrbid to work with since it would be carrying more of the pure genes. I know that the genes would come from both parents, but wouldn't you eventually be breeding more of the hybrid out with each crossing and the stronger pure species have dominance?

" I have always argued for larger crosses to be done with Brugmansia i.e. growing out more than a mere dozen or so of each cross. Why? I don’t think the full potential of many crosses are being realized."

I fully agree. This is a problem I am finding out until I can get some of my own seed pods hopefully next year. I see seeds offered or I buy seeds and the most that I seen offered at one time is like maybe twelve. To me twelve doesn't even scratch the surface. Then if you do happen to have a seedling that shows promise, you may or may not be able to get any more of that specific cross. Can be frustrating if your working on a specific direction and even being able to get somebody else to make the same cross for you, you will not have the same genetic cross you started with. Other pollinators could possibly have gotten in ahead of you. Why don't people sell whole pods at one time. yes th epric emay be a bit high, but at least you would have a better chance of somethign to work with.

If I have a cross of a plant I am workign with and striving for say stronger stalks that are above the foliage, I will dab every bloom I get and grow out all the seeds. For some crosses that may mean as many as 2 or 3 hundred seeds, which to me still is not enough. I think the same cross should if possible be done for several years in a row and all those seeds growed out too. Most will probably look like one or the other parents and then it easy to go evaluate them and cull out anythign that is weak or shows any kind of faults. Hate culling, but have learned it is a necessary evil sometimes. Few will show promise as bridge plants and it your lucky one in a million may be worth registering.

You may not be able to see the the genes, but you and several others have very good eyes for phenotypes, which as a hyrbidizer, I am very thankful for other knowledgable folks eyes. There are many plants out there that are being registered just for a pretty face that have absolutely no other good traits and that a shame. I love pretty faces, but like substance even more.

If you don't mind my asking, how do you feel about breeding a pure species with a pure species of a distant kin. Have you or is anybody else you know working with that to possibly try and get some other colors into the mix?

Brussels, Belgium

1. A hybrid such as [Goldenes Kornett x Rothkirch] x [(Rothkirch x Ocre) x Goldenes Kornett] would have significant aurea influence if you chose to select for versicolor type phenotypes at each selection… you would still have a hybrid with very heavy aurea genes. If you chose to select for aurea phenotypes this expression would be even stronger, but you would still have to cross siblings together to see if a few were candida like in nature. If all seedlings were aurea in nature from your cross you can be reasonably sure that you have breed most of the versicolor genes out of the mix.

2. 2-3 hundred seedlings from an F1 cross is actually a good number to start with. You will want to grow out more in your F2 cross however as this is where things will get interesting if your looking for recessives or a cumulative effect such as a trait or set of genes controlled by more than one set of genes or modifier genes. What this means is that if your cross is Rothkirch x Goldenes Kornett and you realize this is an F1 cross you really can grow just 200-300 for this cross. You select out the two or three best for the trait or traits your after and breed those two or three to each other both ways and back to each parent to pull out more recessives. This is your F2 cross and is where you actually want to grow out large numbers.

3. As for your question concerning Brugmansia aurea x Brugmansia flava ,Brugmansia x Datura, Brugmansia x Iochroma, etc. this has already been done repeatedly and to my knowledge all were grown from rescued embryo’s via tissue culture and all were not fertile enough for the scientists involved to worry about trying to utilize any more advanced techniques to restore fertility such as converting them to tetraploids, etc. I have also heard of one or two of the above crosses being done without tissue culture, but the resulting plant or plants were also not very fertile and the chase was given up with them. A few are still being worked with, but to my knowledge they are not confirmed as genuine or not as of yet.

4. If you wish to try an impossible cross I suggest you mix your pollen. Use a good 50/50 mix of Iochroma and Brugmansia or aurea and flava and mix this back and forth. Keep a separate vial of both pollens unmixed. You can get seed pods this way, but they most generally abort after or before 2 months if you use pure pollen or too much compatible pollen as the more compatible pollen grows faster in the compatible stigma. The first portion of the stigma is also where pollen is most likely to be detected as foreign… some bypass the stigma by cutting it and simply apply the pollen to the cut style. Still, if not enough compatible pollen is used then the pod will abort. You have to give your incompatible pollen a head start, but not use so much that your compatible pollen can’t make the pod stay on. This is hard to gauge for most as most hybridizers utilize way too much pollen in hopes of getting a large number of seeds. All pollen from compatible species or otherwise have different rates of growth. The slowest growers will never stand a chance of pollinating your flower if you dab it on too heavy. I like to figure out how many seeds I can get from a pod first. Then I like to figure out how low a number I can get. Given the choice between growing out 200 of a single pod from the same cross or 10 seed pods of the same cross each with 20 seeds, I’d take the 10 seed pods any day as I realize that this is where I will find natures greatest gifts. Those seeds from the much lower seed pod counts will have a far greater chance of variability from the start as you have allowed a greater variability in the pollen to work its magic. Again, much of your results may not bee seen in the first generation (F1). You will however see your results in your F2 if you repeat this procedure with 15% or so of your seedlings. Many do a test cross with a large number of seedlings between the siblings or parents to try and determine if any such traits can be easily seen in the F2. The resulting siblings in which it is determined have such traits may then be crossed to each other or back to the parent in question in larger numbers to pull out even more of these traits. Again, this F2 and or F3 cross by this time is grown out in larger numbers.

Brussels, Belgium

Brugmansia can be found in many botanical gardens throughout the world and some of the best kept secrets are in those botanical gardens often overlooked or mislabeled. I would point out though that if you have friends in South America to ask them to look at each flower and perhaps send them some photos of each species. You could even have them make a specific cross for you if they were into that sort of thing. Send them some pollen or simply select from pictures they send you. In this manner you can have a pure species or as close to it as you can get and some wild genes. I've seen some interesting phenotypes never before seen to my knowledge on a wild specimen. To me, a good dose of wild genes is a breath of fresh air, but at the same time if you can use these wild specimens on your multi-hybrids to speed them along and that is your desire by all means do so. If you found a wild orange aurea for instance, this could be good for a pure aurea program first and if you had pollen left over you could always pollinate Lagenbuscher Garten, Chief, Bernstein, etc.

Sydney, Australia

Pure magic ...Eric ^_^ ...I so agree re Botanical gardens ...look for the dates and history on the plaques.Go check out old gardens etc.
starlight 123 yes the fragrance is such a large part of the joy and many hybrid plants seem to lose their fragrance while the Angels have expanded theirs and come in different types ...I find it so endearing and fascinating that one may smell of cologne and another of white lillies etc it's all part of the beauty of these stunning plants.

La Grange, TX(Zone 8b)


Given the choice between growing out 200 of a single pod from the same cross or 10 seed pods of the same cross each with 20 seeds, I’d take the 10 seed pods any day as I realize that this is where I will find natures greatest gifts. Those seeds from the much lower seed pod counts will have a far greater chance of variability from the start as you have allowed a greater variability in the pollen to work its magic.

From where does the greater variability come. If you are starting with the same 50/50 pollen mix. The selection of the 200 pollen grains comes from the same mix. Whether you choose 200 all at once or 20 at a time
should not change the variability. The same could be said with the egg provider. Each of the flowers on the same plant are starting out with the same genetic makeup. It's during meiosis that you get the recombination of genetic material. So again it shouldn't matter.

I haven't done much in plant hybridization, but I've been dabbling in Angus cattle breeding for a while now. You mentioned in an earlier post that you weren't getting the expected combinations, or maybe it was percentages. Perhaps you're assuming each gene acts independently, but recombinations occur as strands of various sizes. This could help explain why you're not getting the expected combinations. It could also be that growing out several hundred or several thousand seedlings are still not enough given the complexity of the organism with which you are dealing.

Too much inline breeding is discouraged as this increases the chances of seeing otherwise hidden undesirable, destructive or fatal recessive genes surface. Such is the case of Curly Calf Syndrome seen recently in registered American Angus cattle whose ancestory is traced back to G A R Precision 1680. Calves are born dead and horribly deformed and curled. "1680" was phenomenally popular and is in the bloodline of most of today's Angus. Much of our herd can be traced back to 1680 on either the paturnal or maternal side and in some cases on both. We had already started outcrossing to other lines before receiving the news. Now, we are hoping for a simple, cheap DNA test (Now in the works.) that will show which Angus are carriers of that recessive gene.

Have you encountered any genetic problems besides difficulty in rooting in aureas? Aureas and Brugs whose phenotype is heavily aurea are my favorites especially if they are yellow or orange.

La Grange, TX(Zone 8b)

chrissy, from what I've read apples have the greatest diversity in fruit odor and taste in the plant kingdom. If some of those genes could be transfered to Brugs...

Sydney, Australia

Oh Boy can you imagine apple blossom fragrance in a Brug ...
I love learning from your conversations.Head needs a defrag but wow!

Sydney, Australia

Eric could you look at this please when you have a moment ...I would love your comment and perhaps you can see what genes are in the Old Sydney Apricot noid ...thanks

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

Darn. I thought I had hit the sen dbutton, but my post is missing so wil try again.

Chrissy... They have blueberrys in tomatoes now, so why not an aopple in brugs. I don't know this so will ask. Is it possible to extract oil from the brugs to get soem of the scent out? If you can, I wonder that you couldn't extract oils from alot of different ones and then play aroudn til you got a combo that smelle dlike apples and then just breed those two out til you find an apple smelling one.

Betty.. I have read and re read and reread over still several more times tryign to grasp the understanding of why more pods with less seed than one with 200 seeds. I didn't get it at first.

The only way I can figure it and still not sure if this is right or not. If I make one pod, I have the 50/50 mix, and only 200 seeds and it may be that only a couple of the grains , for example the genes from grain of from each side of the mix , are used. But if I do, 10 pods, it may be that I have less seed, but I will be using 10 times the pollen and it is possible that one or more of those pollen grains may just hold some different resessive gene traits than the single pod had.

La Grange, TX(Zone 8b)

The egg contributes 1/2 of the genetic material. A pollen grain would contribute the other 1/2. You may put more pollen to get the 20 seeds in each of ten pods, but you are still going to have only 200 lucky pollen grains regardless. You are using the same 50/50 pollen mix. Which 200 pollen grains are picked is random and it is just pure luck that one pod of 20 seeds comes up with a 'good' combination while none is found in the pod of 200 seeds. It could just as easily be the other way round. Maybe Eric can explain what he means, but he has to convince me.

Brussels, Belgium

Simply put, pollen has variability within a single hybrid or species. What this means is that only the fast germinators/fast growers will ever make it to the ovule the way most people pollinate utilizing much more pollen then could ever be needed to germinate each and every ovule 10 times over. Now, incompatible pollen or less compatible problem will grow even slower in a stigma/style than your compatible pollen. What this means is that if you place 400 grains of compatible pollen mixed with 400 grains of incompatible pollen on a single stigma whose ovary is only capable of producing 200 seeds at best.... you will most likely get 200 or slightly fewer seeds all of which come from the fastest growing pollen grains of the compatible strain. You will not have tapped the gene pool from the slower growing pollen nor the gene pool from the incompatible pollen. Now to think of this as a race: If you have 200 winners from A-ZZZ and 10 pollen grains from both types of pollen are introduce.... all that successfully germinate and grow to the ovule will win. There will be no losers other than the ones who could never run in the first place. 10,000 runners however and 200 seeds.... you will have lost all of the variability in-between. In short, it is not as random a process as it may seem. Sure, which 200 out of 10,000 runners will be random to an extent, but only random in as much as the fastest will be randomly selected. The slowest will never be selected and that is not random. Allowing fewer pollen grains to germinate reduces this random selection of faster growing pollen grains as all viable pollen grains now will have their cake and do the victory dance. You have actually selected for more variability by utilizing less pollen. Each pollen grain has its own genetic make up and is not identical. This is a large part of where variation in seedlings comes from... different assortments in each pollen grain. Back Crossing will allow the recessives both desirable and undesirable to surface in a manner that allows quantitative traits to surface much faster. Those that have undesirable traits surface are obviously culled or otherwise out crossed which simply hides the undesirable traits...like they were hidden in the first place.

Sydney, Australia

In other words the fastest (more compatible) wins like the fastest "tadpole" gets to the human ova first and that stops the others then ...only in this case the seed ova.?

La Grange, TX(Zone 8b)

Eric, you mentioned earlier that those few seeds, from normally non-compatible crosses, that managed to grow were sterile. The furture of those crosses appears doomed to failure for most of us. On the off chance that the crosses were to succeed,what characteristics would you want to see transfered from the arborea group?

Brussels, Belgium

Chrissy100, your getting it, but not all of it. Even the slower compatible pollen won't ever have a chance at pollination unless you reduce the amount of pollen.

Bettydee... I never said they were sterile. I said they were not fertile enough. Pollen grains are all different genetically speaking. There are also methods such as tissue culture via anther culture, further embryo rescue, or doubling of the chromosomes via various chemicals that bring promise to restoring even more fertility. Lets take anther culture for instance. You take 50 different pollen grains from a Langenbuscher Garten x Wilfire cross and grow them on an enriched media. You will have 50 different combinations of genes from the above cross. You could then double them all. One assortment or another may restore normal fertility and you may find some others remain hard to cross. It is all in the numbers. There are many different methods one could use to do this. The bottom line is that if you were to get a single seedling to grow and even if it was of no use to the average hybridizer it would still hold some potential and interest for someone who liked to experiment.

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

Eric.... I am trying to see if I can find a thread from a different forum I am on to get permission to use the pics to show here. Have a few folks looking for it for me. Your sharing reminds me of a discussion three or four years ago. You triggered a memory : )

There seems to be with some of the cultivars alot of problems with compatability. You have suggested, using the 50/50 method , which would be good. I can see it happening for something I had learned that maybe can be used on brugs.

Maybe somebody has already done this. A friend was having problems making some crosses with another type of plant. They were constantly monitoring the pollen to check to see when it at its fluffiest stage and potentially most viable by laying out on some little dishes the pollen and seeing if it would make the germ tubes.

This led to some good discussions and then somebody else went and started disecting up the chambers and the ovaries and taking pictures. Fasinating to see.

This might also explain a bit of what you are tryign to teach us. What was found was that in some cases the pollen donator had these pollen grains. The siz eof the grains all varied. For the most part in size they were about the same, a few larger and a few smaller. They did a viabiblity test and the pollen was viable, but would not make the cross they wanted with the pod parent.

They discected several of the chambers of the pod parent and a reason for the incompatability could be seen. The chambers themselves were of differernt sizes. They were not genetically equal in size. They shape of them was different. one a bit more rounded, one looked to be oblong and one was definately smaller and you could see no way that those big pollen grains could even get down into the chamber to fertilize. Most folks would just giv eup on that cross and some would keep trying in hopes that eventually it might take.

Now that you explained about the 50/50 that would be a way I see from you that compatable pollen would be able to easily get through the chamber and if in your 50/50 mix you happened to have a some of the incompatable pollen grain that was smaller but viable, it would have a chance of sliding through the chamber holes and being fertilized.

So now I think I got it. With doing just one pod, the chances of getting a grain that would fit through the chambers would be very low, but if you pollinate abunch of blooms, your chances of gettign that smaller incompatable pollen grain into a chamber would be greater as your increasing the chances of having more incompatable pollen out there.

May tak eme a bit sometimes to get the picture or to understand but am so excited to learn about the 50/50 mix. That would definately give a better chance at genetic diversity. I really appreciate the information. We can only grow and learn to better our world and our passions with those willing to share the gifts of experience and knowledge no matter how insignificant it may seem.

I don't know if you want to add to it on here , or maybe another thread, but one of the things that has me puzzled is why in some cases do you pollinate and then come back and re-pollinate a bit higher. I can't comprehend the mechanics of that procedure.

La Grange, TX(Zone 8b)

Starlight, has anyone been able to photograph the process as it occurs? I always thought that when the pollen grain made contact with the stigma, the contact surface would either change or dissolve and all the genetic material to travel down the style leaving the grain husk behind. What I don't know is whether the sperm material travels in an encapsulated form or amoeba like. Encapsulated form would be controlled by style tube size. In animals, once the sperm head breaks through the egg cell wall, the cell wall undergoes a change that prevents any other sperm from breaking through. I imagine plant eggs would work in the same way. I may be confusing things, but the way I understand Eric's explanation is:
1) Keeping the pollen sources separate. So pollen is 100% from one source. Pollinate with a tiny bit of the incompatible pollen first, giving that genetic material time to reach some of the eggs, but not all of the eggs. To keep the seedpod from aborting, it must contain a certain number of compatible pollinated eggs. I think cutting the style down and using the compatible pollen next, shortens the distance the genetic material has to travel to reach the rest of the eggs before entry is denied to all.
2) Using the 50/50 pollen mix, you would be limiting the number of pollen grains used so all would have a chance to pollinate an egg.

I don't understand if there is a time limit to getting the eggs in the ovary pollinated. Where is the gate that controls access located? Does it block access to the entire ovary or egg by egg?

I've had seedpods containing only a small number of seeds. The rest of the corky capsules are empty. Not enough pollen? I liberally coated the styles of the blooms I pollinated? Too much and triggered the gate?

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

Betty. They did a lot of photography work as I had started askign my crazy off the wall questions and then others jumpe din and that started evrybody asking and showing and questioning.

it been so long since I looked at thos epictures, not sure all what there was. May take a few days or so, but we huntign the threds down and hoping that the majority of them were not lost when the whole site crished for sevral weeks from Katrina. They had lost the server and had to move it. Then once I find th ethreads I can email them and ask to be able to post the pictures.

Sorry, I don't know how to framing and bolding. : (

" I always thought that when the pollen grain made contact with the stigma, the contact surface would either change or dissolve and all the genetic material to travel down the style leaving the grain husk behind. What I don't know is whether the sperm material travels in an encapsulated form or amoeba like"

I don't really know myself. We doing good I think though, you know animals and I work with Daylilies, maybe between us and Eric and others who join in we may find the right answers.

Let me go back through a bunch of my notes. I used to have some information, hopefully I still do that can explain why sometimes there is only a few seeds it may or may not apply to brugs though.

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

Betty.. I started a new thread here. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/921479/
That way if somebody else wants to get in on just pure species they can.

Meet you and Eric and anybody else over there. : )

Brussels, Belgium

Self incompatibility or compatibility barriers in pollination are often regulated by proteins. When there is a match that is too close the protein structures of the pollen are detected by the stigma and sometimes even the style itself and if the pollen grows/germinates the stigma and or style may react by forming a callous to prevent the pollen from entering. Pollen compatibility can also be affected by the preprogrammed length or ability to grow a certain length of the pollen. Thus, if you were trying to cross an Iochroma with a Brugmansia there could be a barrier as Iochroma pollen may only be able to travel a much shorter distance than they style of a Brugmansia would allow. Thus, cutting the style and allowing the pollen to travel a shorter distance allows for you to bypass the stigma and the style half closest to the stigma which is most likely to contain your compatibility barrier type proteins. Still, some pollen grains will not germinate unless triggered to germinate by the appropriate chemical messengers derived from a compatible stigma. If this is the case, applying pollen mixed in paste of stigma tissue from the compatible pollen donor is what is needed. The pollen tube itself can also sometimes be detected (via proteins... think along the lines of antigen antibody reactions...and aborted in the portion of the style closest to the stigma as well. You both are getting different pieces of the puzzle I am trying to elaborate on. I will come back and try to explain this a bit better later. For what it is worth, candida x arborea group crosses do work with the methods I have devised earlier on. Seeds do develop and the pod develops. These are not empty seeds. The pod however aborts and hence I realize that getting the mixture right is of utmost importance and even then it is questionable without large numbers if you will get any good results. There are multiple tricks do doing this and finding the right amalgamation of tricks is going to be our best bet to doing this without tissue culture. Tissue culture of course would make this a sure fire thing as it has already been done repeatedly. I will get back to this thread later. On another note, I have examined numerous species and hybrids of Brugmansia pollen under the microscope as well as Datura pollens. What I can tell you is there are definite size differences as well as pattern/structural differences in the outer portion of the pollen grains between the species etc and even amongst a single batch of the same pollen. Still, if you look at a single batch of pollen as you would a slide of red blood cells you will note that the size and shape differences between a single batch.... enough rambling, I really need to get back to studying some more pollen under the microscope as well as flowers, etc. I think there is much to be learned there.

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