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A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

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A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Admin on 9th October 2009, 21:51

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This is an embryo that I excised from the seed of an open pollinated 'Altissimo' seed. I'm just practicing still (hence using OP seeds to practice on) but basically if you remove the embryo and place it in a ziplock plastic bag on a few sheets of moist paper towel it will germinate in just a few days. I did this one on Thursday night, straight from the and old hip in the garden, and you can already see the radicle starting to emerge from the embryo. You sit it in a warm light place out of direct sun (The person guiding me through this assures me you need a very small amount of light to get things started.. he uses fluroescent lights... I just sit mine on top of the computer monitor here) and the embryo will turn green as the root begins to grow. When the root has grown enough you can transfer them into a pot and harden them off. I like this method, although it is VERY fiddly and quite difficult but it's ideal for those seeds that we just can't seem to germinate. My 'Altissimo' seeds are like this. They are enormous seeds with very thick coats that just don't seem to be able to germinate on there own (for me)... none of my planned crosses with it have germinated for me this season (yet). I was particularly keen to see if the 'Altissimo' x 'Amber Flower Carpet' would germinate... so far nothing.

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Bemo on 10th October 2009, 03:01

Simon, how do you crack the nuts ? I don't have so a small nut cracker. The work with a sharp knife could be dangerous Injured

breeding regards
Bernhard

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Admin on 10th October 2009, 17:48

I've been using a sharp box-cutter type knife to work around the suture line on the achene and then once started use nail-clippers to 'eat' away at the 'nut'. I'm working on a better seed-splitter though that, once I've trialled it a bit, I'll post here as well.

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Admin on 11th October 2009, 22:47

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Today the embryos are starting to go green and the radicle is a little longer.

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Dave on 12th October 2009, 08:03

That's really cool Simon. Please keep us updated. I've tried sandpaper but I don't think it made any difference.

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Alee on 12th October 2009, 16:36

Ozeboy, do you have any clever idea's or devices to open the seeds. Maybe you could design a device to open the seeds. The main problem would be that seeds come in different sizes.


Last edited by Alee on 12th October 2009, 20:24; edited 1 time in total

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Ozeboy on 12th October 2009, 19:29

Sorry Alee, haven't given any thought to opening up hips and seeds.

In the last half minute of thinking about the problem would suggest a pair of pliers with a build up of epoxy putty between the jaws to prevent crushing completely. Could use a U shaped piece of metal to fit between the jaws to regulate the travel of the jaws. Possibly 3 or 4 thicknesses would be required to deal with all the seed sizes.

Must add I am a New Chum at raising seeds so don't take a lot of notice of me. Have only done two seasons but am happy with the result.

A very knowledgeable guy on the RHA uses a mix master with the sharp edges on the beaters rounded off but that's not opening the seeds.

I will be following this topic with great interest and if I can come up with something will let you know.

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 12th October 2009, 21:15

Why not use a potato rumbler, like in commercial kitchens
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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Admin on 12th October 2009, 22:40

The gadget I'm working on works on a screw system. I'm going to buy a turnbuckle from the hardware store and take one side out completely and replace it with a length of threaded rod of the same diametre. I will need extra length to ensure the two ends meet in the middle once I've taken to one end with the angle grinder. Before putting it in I'm going to hit the threaded rod with the angle grinder to grind it down to a flat edge like a screwdriver blade only sharper and finer. The other section I'll leave flat. This will act as a flat face to support the seed and is the section I'll turn to apply a gradual pressure so I can keep the blade positioned along the suture line in the achene. I figure this way I can use a large handle to get loads of mechanical advantage and the machine thread will allow me to control the application of the load to ensure I don't split it too far and squash the embryo.

I have to say, however, that removing the embryo from the seed is not really the hard bit. The embryo sits inside the achene wrapped in another layer called the testa and Don Holeman, the author of the protocol I'm semi-following, on RHA has mentioned to me that the testa also inhibits germination and must also be removed. I find this very hard to do. You have to lay the embryo down so the suture line in the testa faces up and then you need to tear it open with a needle, or something similar (I was thinking a small surgical lance might be good), so the embryo can pop out. You need to make sure you don't damage the emerging radicle. It's this bit I mess up the most as the testa can sometimes be very tight. Soaking in water seems to help rehydrate the testa and losen it a little. I'm at the stage that I get about 1 in 30 or so to work. Don is very successful and achieves far better sucess. Small seeds are very difficult to work with, however, I am hoping the nut'cracker system with work well with seeds of all kinds.

I think it is important, when looking at methods such as this, that one doesn't let it become the primary method of germination. For one I could not imagine doing this to a large number of seeds. I sowed somethng like 1000 seeds this year and shudder at the thought of shelling 1000 rose seeds (I'm not good at repetitive tasks... I get bored easily... look... something shiney...). I also think that germination of seeds should be step number one in selecting worthy roses. If they can't germinate by themselves, maybe they weren't meant to. A little bit of natural selection thrown in to help weed out the duds is a good thing I think. It would be useful for seeds that are produced late in the season as this only takes a week or so to get results and would allow late seedlings to put on some size before winter sets in. Some seeds are extremely thick as well. The 'Altissimo' seeds are a good example. I did an 'Altissimo' x 'Flower Carpet - Amber' cross last season that I was hoping might help improve the fertility of wichurana based roses (because 'Altissimo' will set seeds if you just look sideways at it) and the seeds were huge with very thick achene walls and I think this is inhibiting the germination process as none at all have come up. In fact none of the 'Altissimo' seeds have come up.. not even the OP ones. 'Mutabilis' is another that comes to mind. It's seeds have proven to be difficult to germinate for me and I'm keen to see whether I can get some non-foetida yellow happening. Maybe I should just turn the cross around and make 'Altissimo' the pollen parent on the wichurana plant as the seeds are much smaller and germinate more reliably Dunno who knows... They sure don't set seed as easily as 'Altissimo' does though... it is a shame not to try and so far the indication with these embryos is that the embryos are perfectly viable. Another reason to so this is to avoid really long stratification times that large seeds, and some species seeds (like those in the canina section) require. Extracting the embryo circumvents all the built in inhibitors allowing seeds to be germinated immediately with no stratification.

So... that's my take on it. If nothing else it's a good academic process to follow to get a better idea of how rose seeds actually develop and grow. It's pretty interesting to watch it all happen here beside me at the computer.

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Admin on 12th October 2009, 23:28

This is the kind of thing I'm thinking of...

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Bemo on 13th October 2009, 02:43

...if I had a hammer.. Innocent ..

when the first OP hips are ripe, I will tinker around with Voodoo

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Dave on 13th October 2009, 06:14

Watching with great interest Simon. Thanks for the details. What about some sort of magnification (I would need it!!)

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Bemo on 15th October 2009, 03:44

have tested 1st time the extraction of the germs. Testobjects came from a just ripe fruit of 'Bonica'. As the hull was not very hard, extraction time was only about 1 min/nut, using nailtongs to nip:

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the upper one of the germs was very small, nearly without testa, the lower
looks a little demaged silent

next weekend I will excercise the w Very Happy hole number after organizing petri dishes and eyeglasses cyclops
but I have the feeling that it will not become my favourite method

peeling regards
Bernhard


Last edited by Bemo on 15th October 2009, 03:46; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : ein Loch , whole without w)

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Dave on 15th October 2009, 06:46

Good work, Bernhard! Let us know how you go.
Dave

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Admin on 15th October 2009, 21:45

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One week after excision I have transfered the embryo into a pot of peat and perlite. Its root was now about 6-7mm long and the cotyledons had separated and become almost fully green. The emerging true leaves can be seen. Not sure where or how to progress from here, in terms of hardening off, so at the moment I have a small cover over it to keep it humid and it's still inside on a sheltered window sill. The other embryo rotted off. Hoping this one will continue to grow. Don Holeman suggests using peroxide to dip embryos and other materials in to help reduce the level of rose pathogens that may cause the destruction of embryos. I only did 2 embryos this test and lost one due to infection. Don uses peroxide to reduce the level of cross infection and I think I too will pay more attention to this in the future. Peroxide also creates a more oxygen rich environment which encourages germination.

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Ozeboy on 15th October 2009, 23:20

Simon, it's amazing. I used Peroxide last year for a very good result with normal seeds. Also used it for follow-up moisture and didn't gat any algae growth.

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Dave on 16th October 2009, 05:47

What strength peroxide, Simon? I remember using it before but have forgotten.

This year I'm germinating about 100 cream clivia seeds in a sealed bag on top of the water heater and I'm using damp kitchen paper with a drop of bleach to a cup of water. From an earlier test run I've got 4 healthy seedlings putting up their second leaf.

Is it any use watering the rose seedlings with dilute HP? I usually lose one or two seedlings to damping off.

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Ozeboy on 16th October 2009, 07:38

Simon, would an electrical plastic coated wire stripper work ?

It has two "V" shaped jaws and a screw to regulate closure distance.
If the seed has to be supported either side of the "V" cutters some epoxy putty could be mounded on. If a flat is required on one cutter then mould it with epoxy putty.

Just a thought based on your turnbuckle idea, think it may be a little more user friendly.

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Admin on 16th October 2009, 17:29

Bruce, I think the wire stripper idea is really worth a try. I bought a turnbuckle and sharpened one end and have found I still squash a lot of embryos. I cuts it really well, and is relatively easy to use but the seeds move around a lot making it hard to cut along the suture line and it inevitably swivels around and I end up cutting the embryo in half (even though I don't turn all the way... just enough to split the seed. I was thinking that if the seeds were left to dry out a bit first the embryo might shrink a bit and be easier to remove from the seed coat because fresh embryos tend to make a very tight fit... I'm with you though Bernhard.. I don't think this will be my favourite method of germination. The wire stripper idea is definately worth a shot I think.

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Admin on 17th October 2009, 01:30

Also... I would like to plug Don's article on embryo extraction. It is an excellent resource detailing not only the procedure to carry out an excision but the science behind it. Don is trained in the field of biochemistry so he has a thorough knowledge on such matters, and he's a nice guy to talk to as well. You can download the full article here: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] In it he also outlines the various peroxide concentrations he uses Dave.. it's better coming from his work than me going back over it.

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Admin on 17th October 2009, 01:53

I think my seedling is going to fail. I think I am seeing rotting of the cotyledon on the lower left side and I can't see any evidence of the first true leaves forming anymore. The cotyledons have expanded and you can see evidence of injuries sustained during removal from the testa.

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Much more practice is needed.

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Bemo on 17th October 2009, 03:47

today I've tried to play the game with nuts from fresh 'Dortmund' seeds. Cracking is not the problem with the nail tongs but removing the germ out of the shell:

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the germ is laying very close to the shell, there is no place to go with a tool between. I always have injured the germ Crying or Very sad keep in mind how small it is.

Gave up for today Cursing

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Dave on 17th October 2009, 06:25

10/10 for effort, guys! It must be time consuming, but hope you can find a way.

One year I soaked the seeds overnight in Bromelain and had better success (I think) Bruce tried it also. Forgot to do it this year. Anyone got any research on it? (remember, Simon I failed science at school which is why my attempts are so slack:)

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Admin on 17th October 2009, 12:53

There is heaps of information about Bromelain on the RHA forum Dave and lots of people use it. I have never tried it though. I get a little one-eyed about things and believe that if a seed can't germinate on its own.. then maybe it wasn't meant to. This is purely an academic thing for me I think... just to see if I can do it.

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Re: A different way of germinating seeds without stratification...

Post by Bemo on 17th October 2009, 20:41

must think about the usefulness of sowing out the cracked seeds only, without doing the 'micro procedure' Voodoo . The empty ones can be discarded before, so the amount of duds after stratification will be reduced Hmmmm

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