Question about Ploidy Level of Complex Paph's

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I have a question for anyone who may know. Does anyone know what the ploidy level is of most complex Paph's (Like Paph. Winston Churchill and Paph Elfstone etc.). I am wondering if they are all tetraploid or if some of them may be hexaploid (6x).

The reason that I am wondering, once in a while if you cross a diploid brachy onto a complex most of the offspring tends to be fertile. If the complex was a tetraploid, the complex x brachy would all result into triploid plants (and you would assume that most of those are sterile). However, if the complex is a hexaploid, if you cross it with a regular diploid brachy, your resulting offspring would all be tetraploid and thus fertile.

Any ideas?



Jun 9, 2006
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Mid Michigan
I don't know if anybody has counted. Most assumptions about ploidy in paphs (complex or otherwise) is deduced from phenotype, not by karyotype. As you probably recall, there was some flurry of tetraploid conversion going on with the species maybe 10 or 15 years ago (Burkhardt(??) was one, I believe EYOF did a fair amount as well). Even then, Burkhardt wasn't counting chromosomes. I used to order a lot of 'tetraploid' stuff from him, and we would just assume that the chunkiest seedlings out of flask were the tetraploids.

I don't have the lab to do chromosome counting, but you might, Robert. It isn't that difficult if I recall the protocol correctly. Never did it, but I did look into it at one point.


Yes, I can do the chromosome counting (and have done it for other plants, using root tips), but I was wondering if someone else had done it yet for complex Paph's.

If no one else has done it yet, I may have to get out the stain, and the microscope and do some chromosome counting....


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