Looking at pollen

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Hello Theo
A most interesting survey of pollen fertility in narcissus hybrids .I like to make two remarks. 1. From several wild narcissi tetraploids are available (Zonneveld (2008) Pl syst Evol 275:109-132) . It would be very worthwhile to seek these out. This would circumvent the low fertility of the triploids 2. There is another, I think simpler way, to investigate the pollen. Take some pollen on a slide and add a drop of cottonblue lactophenol . Within minutes good pollen is dark blue, bad pollen stays colourless as can be seen in a simple microscope. I have used that for many genera.
Ben Zonneveld

3 comments for “Looking at pollen

  1. Theo and Ben, thank you for your postings.  For those who would like to read Ben’s article, go to the ADS website, http://www.daffodilusa.org  and click on “References and Resources.”  You’ll find a link to Ben’s article there.  You’ll also find a link to the full report from Don Hunter in New Zealand on the color breaking in reverse bicolor daffodils.  Then, under Internet Services, be sure to also click on “Links” and scroll down to “Daffodil Sites and Articles.”  You’ll find links to several scientific articles as well as some other interesting sites.
    And ADS judges and others might like to go to “ADS Designations and Daffodil Awards” to print out 5-1/2 x 8 size lists of miniatures, intermediates and others.  This size will fit in your Judges Handbook binder.
    Our webmistress, Nancy Tackett, quietly adds these interesting things to the website.  It pays to check from time to time.  A big, big “thank you” to Nancy Tackett and to Ben Blake for all they do for us.  They do things we didn’t even know we wanted, until we see them, and go Wow!  How did we ever get along without it?
    Thank you, Nancy and Ben.
    Mary Lou

  2. Dear Mary Lou…
    While you’re passing along those very well deserved kudos to Ben and Nancy for the great service they continue to provide, I would join with the multitude who would join me in telling you to take a bow (perhaps with a wee-bit of a blush) for all all you do and continue to do!  We thank you, as well! 
    Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

  3. Hello Ben,
    in your publication are listed as tetraploids, which form tetravalents during meiosis: some forms of N. bulbocodium, N. cantabricus and N.romieuxii from Northern Africa, N. obesus, N.viridiflorus, N. minor ‘Cedric Morris’ and N. pseudonarcissus nobilis. Moreover I heard there  exists a tetraploid N. jonquilla. Crosses of tetraploid standard daffodils with N. viridiflorus are easy to make and fertile as supposed, this should be the same for crosses with N. minor ‘Cedric Morris’ and N. pseudonarcissus nobilis. Little Soldier is a cross of N. obesus x Chemava; it should be fertile, but the pollen corns do not sprout. Other crosses of tetraploid standard daffodils with N. bulbocodium,  N. cantabricus or N. romieuxii I don’t know. I tried some, but with minimal or no success. The same is valid for crosses of N. cantabricus x N. viridiflorus and N. romieuxii x N. viridiflorus. The diploid form of N. cantabricus from Spain can be easily  combined  with standard daffodils, but the descendants should not be fertile,  perhaps  some have very low fertility. I try for some years to get the tetraploid N. jonquilla but without success.
    I am sure in most cases your method of investigating the pollen is ideal and simple. But in some critical cases  pollen corns of infertile daffodils look good under the microscope, the same do  pollen of fertile daffodils which have been stored too long in the refrigerator or freezer. I think in both cases the infertile pollen may look dark blue with an addition of cottonblue under the microscope.

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