So far as I know colchicine is used to double the chromosome number (ie make
a polypoid); it interferes with microtubule formation, and these sub-cellular
structures are required to separate chromosomes during mitosis and meisosis -
if the chromosomes can't separate you end up with twice the number in the
daughter cells. It is a nasty chemical; see
for some info.
all the best,
"Dennis R. Moore" wrote:
> On Wed, 30 May 2001 02:06:05 GMT, Night23 <night23 at nightynight.com>
> > is there ANY way at all I can cause a random mutation in the
> >genetic makeup of a seed using equipment/chemicals at home? I don't
> >want to go the natural selection route selecting for this and that trait
> >waiting for something interesting to show up. It just takes too many
> >generations. I want to mutate a bunch of seeds right off the bat, plant
> >them, see what germinates and if its interesting perpetuate that line.
> >Of course I know most will either not germinate or be 'sickly' but out
> >of a couple of hundred seeds and a few tries, I'm willing to bet there
> >will be some interesting mutation in there.
> >Someone mentioned caffein could temporarily unwind DNA. If so, will I
> >be able to mutate a bunch of seeds if I soak them in warm black
> >caffeniated coffee for 24 hrs?
> >Please let me know.
>> Colchicine, an extract of Colchicum spp. is used to split chromosomes.
> It is also prescribed as a treatment for gout. Sorry, I don't know the
> treatment protocol for either use.