Dave Prager on Mon, 11 Jun 2001 18:29:21 +0200 (CEST)


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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Planet destroyed; film at 11



> >
> > >From which I infer (this isn't an actual quote from Scot): "There's
> > little need to even debate about GM, because we've actually had GM for
> > thousands of years now!"  That's the kind of thing you hear a lot
> 
> Well, you *infer* quite wrong. We *have* had gene modification in some 
> form for thousands of years now. To deny otherwise is to deny the facts. 
> The question, and debate, is whether the old style of gene modification
> (localised, slow, without the bounds of natural possibility) is 'better
> than' the modern practices of  forced transgenic engineering. But you have
> to start from foundations, and foundations mean that you must 
> acknowledge that some form of genetic manipulation has been practiced > by all
agricultural cultures.

How convenient for this to be published today.  Is this GM?  (I don't know, I'm
just passing this along):

http://ask.yahoo.com/ask/20010611.html

Dear Yahoo! 

How is a seedless watermelon grown? 

Martina 
Savannah, Georgia 

 
Dear Martina: 

It's grown from seedless watermelon seeds in sun-warmed soil with a little help
from the bees. A "seedless watermelon" search in Yahoo! turned up a page from the
Territorial Seed Company describing the "culture" of this modern hybrid fruit. 

Watermelon breeders discovered that crossing a diploid plant (bearing the
standard two sets of chromosomes) with a tetraploid plant (having four sets of
chromosomes) results in a fruit that produces a triploid seed. (Yes, it has three
sets of chromosomes). This seed grows fruit that rarely develops seeds, although
you may find some empty white seed coats. The melon's flesh is firmer because the
usual softening of the fruit around the seeds does not occur. 

Triploid varieties are more difficult to grow than their seedier cousins but it
can be done. Your best bet is to germinate these pricey seeds indoors at an
optimal 85 F, and plant them outdoors after soil temperatures have warmed to at
least 70 F. It's easier to buy melon transplants and set them out when
temperatures are in the 80s. Because seedless melons are sterile and produce
little pollen, you'll need to also plant a normal pollinator variety of
watermelon in the patch so the bees can pollinate the flowers, contributing to
the development of flavorful, well-formed fruit. 

We read about the history and popularity of the seedless watermelon at the Access
Excellence web site, a health and bioscience resource, where we examined a
picture explaining Mendelian patterns of inheritance and learned about Warren
Barham, a pioneering breeder working to develop sweeter cultivars. 

So enjoy the sweet, seedless varieties, but don't worry, we don't think they'll
put watermelon seed spitters out of business anytime soon.



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