Astrophytums- June Journal

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Eric Williams
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Astrophytums- June Journal

Postby Eric Williams » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:11 pm

Hi all, reading the very interesting article regarding Astros. I came across the words "chemical or radiation" regarding the Japanese cultivars. Can any one explain whats going on, or are we talking about genetically modified plants here. Cheers Eric
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CactusFanDan
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Re: Astrophytums- June Journal

Postby CactusFanDan » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:21 pm

Firstly, let me say that the term Genetic modification is a grossly mis-used term. It tends to be used in place of Genetic Engineering, when the two are vastly different. Genetic engineering is when you actively seek out to change an organisms genome, using recombinant DNA technology, for example. Genetic modification can be something as trivial as you going outside and sunbathing. Your skin cells are genetically modified by the sun's rays. That's just something which really irritates me.

Anyway, as for Astrophytum cultivars. A common method for the Japanese to create new and wacky Astrophytums is to irradiate the seeds with low doses of ionising radiation. Probably something equivalent to a handful of dental x-rays. The irradiation causes mutations in the seeds, which are then sown and if anything fun comes up, it'll get grafted and cultivated. The same can be done with mutagenic chemicals like Ethidium bromide. It's a lot more hit and miss than genetic engineering would be, but it's also waaaaay cheaper.
-Dan
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Aiko
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Re: Astrophytums- June Journal

Postby Aiko » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:43 pm

Why only Astrophytums, I wonder. I reckon the mutations of radiated seeds might happen with all kind of succulents.
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CactusFanDan
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Re: Astrophytums- June Journal

Postby CactusFanDan » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:14 am

Oh, yeah, they do it for all sorts of other plants. Some of those funny coloured Gymno's are a result of irradiated seeds.
-Dan
Growing an eclectic mix of Cacti, with a few Caudiciforms and other Succulents. Also interested in African bulb plants.
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Liz M
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Re: Astrophytums- June Journal

Postby Liz M » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:24 am

Thanks for the very useful information. I'm not sure I like the results much but some like do and they do go for crazy money
Obsessive Crassulaceae lover but also grow, Aloes, Agaves, Haworthias and a select number of Cacti
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Tina
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Re: Astrophytums- June Journal

Postby Tina » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:38 am

Have to admit I have succumbed to buying some of the 'special astro's there is soo much variety, this was a recent gift from Japan it's quite large 5" just waiting for roots.

Anyone know what the trendy name is, it's label came in Japanese so no use to me :wink:
astro.jpg
astro.jpg (201.87 KiB) Viewed 780 times
Tina

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MikeT
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Re: Astrophytums- June Journal

Postby MikeT » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:07 pm

Colchicine has also been used to induce mutations in various plants. It tends to produce polypoidy, but can also cause mutations. I don't know if it's been used to deform cacti.
Last edited by MikeT on Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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delandmo
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Re: Astrophytums- June Journal

Postby delandmo » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:44 pm

Hi Tina,

Not an expert on Astros, but looking at the photos in this months Cactus World about Astros by Stuart Riley, I would suggest it's A. myriostigma and probably a "Fukuryu" type ("Nudum" form)
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DaveW
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Re: Astrophytums- June Journal

Postby DaveW » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:52 pm

Only it's mother could love that Tina! You sure it's not gone rotten? :???: :smile:
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Re: Astrophytums- June Journal

Postby Herts Mike » Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:27 pm

It's a trendy candle surely?

I can see the wick in the centre.......

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