Gathering pollen

Mitchie and I have had an on-going discussion for years about this. She says that we should collect pollen only from first class blooms, and not from one that has some defaults, e.g., split center, diseased, etc. I say pollen is pollen regardless of the condition of the bloom as long as it is collectible and can do its thing. She says that those faults will be transmitted to its offspring. Thoughts? I’m not out to win anything from her, as it doesn’t matter but…

I would assume that they would only differ if one of the blooms was on a stem that mutated, and the mutation was not superficial.

Just my guess…

Yes, exactly Jadae. Otherwise pollen is pollen.

Phenotypic expression of the plant does not affect the genotype in pollen.

John, I agree with Robert and Jadae about the pollen. Although, I would agree with Mitchie about selecting good blooming cuttings to use in propagation since subtle mutations might affect form.

How is that for being diplomatic!

Jim Sproul

My impression is the same as what others mentioned. I don’t think there would be an influence on the genetic composition of the gametes. Whatever environmental influences that contributed to the misformed flower shouldn’t influence the geneotype of the rose- sporophyte or gametophyte. Maybe like Jim and others suggested, mutations are building up and flowers that are displaying poor form may be more sensitive to doing so under certain environmental conditions due to more predisposed genetics.

That’s hard to answer without a lot of research- more work and research than what may be gained than just feeling safe and using the more nicely formed blooms on the plants that tend to have more nicely formed blooms in general. Maybe for some plants and situations mutations are occurring and for others not. Even if there are epigenetic changes (no changes in DNA sequence, but things like methylation of DNA that interferes with expression), the epigentic changes can influence or increase the rate of sequence changes or mutations. I forgot which nucleotides off the top of my head, but I think it’s a methylated C that can often be switched to a T during mitosis. That T then is stablely integrated as that plant continues to grow and is what can be transmitted in meiosis to the gametes. Maybe the T will make a difference than a C here or there, maybe not- depending where it is and how expression of genes and gene products are affected. This is just one example of a common sequence change.



I have a question along these lines although not about pollen. I had a Red Eden which I got rid of becuase it balled up so bad. Some of the blooms had a real strong fragrance while most only had a slight fragrance. If one were to make a cutting of the real fragrant bloom stem would all the blooms be fragrant or would it be just like its parent. Thinking about it I suppose the answer would be just like pollen but I sure wish I had tried it to see what would have happened.


If the fragrant stem was a stable mutation and you wee able to isolate it, sure.

Thanks to all of you for adding to this discussion. Although pollen is pollen as was so clearly stated; I will, as Jim so tactfully stated, be diplomatic and collect pollen from the good blooms as Mitchie says, unless…

Sometimes pollen (when you need it) is as rare as gold though.

I’m sure it couldn’t hurt to use pollen from the best looking blooms as first choice, however as Jadae points out you may not always have your first choice, so it would seem sensible to collect from less then perfect looking blooms if you have those.

Besides, there are lots of things that can make a bloom look less then perfect that are external to the plant and thus more random then it just being a bad bloom. Insects, rain or temperature changes or water stress that happened at just the right time during development of the bud can make them look not as nice when they do bloom then those that were a week ahead or behind them.

Yes, Amber and Jadae - I would collect pollen, if it is something I wanted, from whatever was the best available. Sometimes we do not have a choice so what is available is it!