Wondering about pollinia, pollen/seed parents.
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Wondering about pollinia, pollen/seed parents.
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  #1  
Old 11-18-2008, 07:18 PM
tmaxwell tmaxwell is offline
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Wondering about pollinia, pollen/seed parents. Male
Default Wondering about pollinia, pollen/seed parents.

I would assume orchid, like most any other pollen, to have good longevity. I have some crosses I want to make, but flowering times don't align. for now, I'm harvesting pollinia, folding it in paper, and refrigerating it. Also, my thinking in selecting who pollinates who is to use the more robust plant as the female. Genetically, I can't see where this would affect results beyond the genetic variability already present... but I'm not certain of chromosomal counts. (next project)
any experience is appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 11-18-2008, 11:38 PM
Royal Royal is offline
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Interesting topic. I can't add much from experience, but I'll follow this thread closely as I have a few "projects" going on myself.
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  #3  
Old 11-19-2008, 12:26 AM
lambelkip lambelkip is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmaxwell View Post
I would assume orchid, like most any other pollen, to have good longevity. I have some crosses I want to make, but flowering times don't align. for now, I'm harvesting pollinia, folding it in paper, and refrigerating it. Also, my thinking in selecting who pollinates who is to use the more robust plant as the female. Genetically, I can't see where this would affect results beyond the genetic variability already present... but I'm not certain of chromosomal counts. (next project)
any experience is appreciated!
refrigerating pollen is a common practice.

as for the genetics, it's a bit more complicated than chromosome counts. some species may have larger chromosomes than others, but still result in a successful cross. also, it may be important to note that genes are never inherited equally. a plant may inherit the same number of chromosomes from both parents, but the chloroplasts and mitochondria (which have their own DNA) are always inherited from the female or pod parent. this factor is often overlooked by hybridizers, but can be an important factor in how well your plants do.
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  #4  
Old 11-19-2008, 02:07 AM
dgenovese1 dgenovese1 is offline
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Tmaxwell,

Great question! What Lambelkip pointed out is crucial to think about when you are deciding what plants to use as the pollen and pod parents. The pod parent will provide a much stronger influence on the progeny of any cross.

As for storing pollinia, I always try and put one of those little desiccators’ packets you find in pill bottles into the baggie I pace the pollinia into. I've read that this will preserve the pollinia longer.

Good luck with your hybridizing project.
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:46 AM
Royal Royal is offline
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The silica packets in pills, shoes, beef jerky, etc. have normally absorbed all the moisture that they can. You can but silica gel at hobby stores for drying flowers and such. It's really cheap and can be re-activated in the oven.

Just make sure that the silica doesn't touch the pollen/seed you are storing. I put a little layer of those silica crystals in the bottom of a clean mason jar. Then I put the pollen/seed in a film bottle without the cap and place the whole thing into the jar. After about a week or two, you can just stick it in a zip-top bag and store it in the fridge.
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  #6  
Old 11-19-2008, 12:48 PM
tmaxwell tmaxwell is offline
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thanks for the tips folks! I was wondering about mitochondria, and chloroplasts. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this should imply a greater impact on the progeny's energetics than form. Oh, got to go to class...
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  #7  
Old 11-19-2008, 01:10 PM
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camille1585 camille1585 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyalOrchids View Post
Just make sure that the silica doesn't touch the pollen/seed you are storing. I put a little layer of those silica crystals in the bottom of a clean mason jar. Then I put the pollen/seed in a film bottle without the cap and place the whole thing into the jar. After about a week or two, you can just stick it in a zip-top bag and store it in the fridge.
That's how it's done in the seed tech labs of breeding companies, and works well. Of course they don't use mason jars and films bottles, but it's the same principle.

Another method I used while doing my internship there was to dry the pollen(tomato) in the oven at 37C for 2 hours. We would either store it in the fridge, the freezer or in liquid nitrogen. If the pollen is not dried out correctly, freezing kill the pollen. I don't know how orchid pollen would tolerate this. Solanacea have pollen which stay viable a long time and can take rough treatment pretty well. I prefer the method with the silica crystals.
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