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Microwaving seeds to induce genetic mutation

Night23 night23 at nightynight.com
Fri Jun 1 16:06:44 EST 2001

Yes I read about Colchicine as well prior to it being mentioned in this

But the darn thing sounds so toxic it scared me just reading about it. 
Accidentally getting just a little under the fingernails or breathing
the stuff in could cause death.

I was looking for safer ways of mutating DNA in seeds.

So far the only safe way I have heard of is using caffein although I
don't know how effective it is.  

Another question I wanted to ask - how about running an electric current
through the seed or the seedling as its growing.  Would that cause
mutation during cell division?  

Jeremy Harbinson wrote:
> 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
> http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/Vines/2259/colchicine.htm
> for some info.
> all the best,
> Jeremy  Harbinson
> "Dennis R. Moore" wrote:
> > On Wed, 30 May 2001 02:06:05 GMT, Night23 <night23 at nightynight.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > >Jeremy,
> > >       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.
> > >
> > >Thanks.
> >
> > 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.
> > regards,
> > Dennis

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