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 Newbie question

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Walker87
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Number of posts : 298
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Registration date : 2014-03-01

PostSubject: Newbie question    Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:37 pm

Good afternoon folks,

Just wondering what cacti can you cross breed?
Is it specie specific or can you just try mixing anything?

Apologies if this sounds ridiculous.

Cheers

Walker87
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SneakyCuttlefish
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question    Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:05 pm

A good question. You will have to do a bit of research on any specific species you are looking at crossing. Many are able to be cross-pollinated with other species and there are a number of natural hybridization's listed in the available  literature.

Loph's are my main interest so here is an interesting little snippet of info taken from a link that was provided to me by one of the ACF members. You can find the link in the 'Lophy Damage' thread in the 'Pests and Diseases' section. I haven't had the drive to verify the information for accuracy. Mainly due to my lack of interest in hybridizing of this genus but I have noted similar information from several different sources.  

L. williamsii has been successfully fertilized by:

Ariocarpus fissuratus,
Lophophora diffusa,
Mammillaria bocasana,
Mammillaria zeilmanniana,
Strombocactus disciformis,
Turbinicarpus pseudomacrochele.

There is also suggestion that it has also been successfully fertilized by Astrophytum asterias and Epithelantha micromeris.

A google search on occasion has resulted in pictures of some of these successful hybrids. Worth having a look as some of the hybrids are quite bizarre.  

If you would like to delve deep into the very precise art of hybridizing there are members of this forum who could explain to the very minutest detail how to do it but just to be able to follow on you will need to have a reasonable understanding of biology and genetics. This topic can go very deep into the lab, from direct pollination of the ovaries to in-vitro pollination as well as various chemical treatment methods.

A very interesting topic but sadly one I do not have the money nor the will to pursue.

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Walker87
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question    Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:54 pm

Wow, thanks for the reply.
It was more of a general question at this stage, I really don't have a big enough collection (yet) to be looking at hybridising. But I did wonder if it was even possible.
Even in the future I would at best be using a paint brush to transfer some baby plant dust from one flower to another, which is neither refined or precise. I'm assuming this would be how it's done (in its simplest form) as that is what I have done in the past with other plants (tomatoes)

It will certainly be something I look further into down the track.
Can't wait until I can play mad scientist and start crossing plants!
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Cereoid

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question    Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:27 pm

Many genera are capable of hybridising with related genera but species hybridising with other species in the same genus are much more common. Some of the more interesting hybrids involve species that are dissimilar from each other or are produced specifically for their flowers. I would suggest looking up hybrids between Leuchtenbergia principis and Ferocactus spp., they're really weird looking!

If you are interested in producing novel hybrids then you should research the pollination biology of the species involved to prevent unwanted pollinations. If one of the species is self-fertile then use it as the father to make sure all the seeds are hybrids. If both are self-fertile then cut open one of the flowers just before it opens and remove the anthers, then use it as the mother. Keep the plants away from the natural pollinating insects and make sure any pollinating brush is clean of foreign pollen before you use it. If you follow all of these steps (and probably a few more that I haven't thought of) then you should be able to get exact bred hybrids of known parentage that you can use in future crosses. Of course, if none of this matters to you then you could always just transfer pollen everywhere and hope for the best - it also works but you won't know what the plants you get from the seed are.
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SneakyCuttlefish
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question    Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:47 pm

A really good one to start out with is grab a few different varieties of Astrophytum asterias and start pollen swapping. The genetic differences are immediately noticeable and you may end up with some really beaut variations.

If you gain a good understanding of genetic inheritance, then, with a bit of time and effort you can stabilize any interesting characteristic's that arise from crossing. But that is a little bit technical.

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Navajoa
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PostSubject: Re: Newbie question    Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:31 pm

Hybrids between species are quite common and the bane of people who prefer plants to "type", whereas others enjoy the myriad of forms and surprises hybrids can bring...to each their own. Hybridization between genera is much more rare, but there are few more commom ones. The plant in the centre below is the "Ferobergia" Cereoid spoke of (cross b/w Leuchtrenbergia and Ferocactus)


DDIMG_2440 by Navajoa, on Flickr
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