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X-ray Mutagenesis on Wisconsin Fast Plants

Welcome to my note page on my experiments using x-rays to mutate Wisconsin Fast Plants.

I'm still organizing notes and this site in general, most things are written in a journal style with the date followed by what I did or observed that day.

The Beginning

I started with building a x-ray source and shielding, I call it my Mutagenesis Chamber. Here's what happened after I got it working:

After getting active readings on my Geiger counter, I ended up putting my left over Wisconsin Fast Plant confetti seeds (about 25 of them) into the chamber. I 'cooked' them for about 4.5-5minutes with 3vdc going into the HV module. So I'll be planting some of my 2nd generation fast plants, unexposed first gen seeds and these x-ray exposed seeds later today.

xray1 xray2 sed

I have the seeds planted in 4 rows: A, B, C, D with columns 1-16

  • Row D 2-15 X-Ray Exposed
  • Row C 2-15 F1 Generation of purple stem WFP
  • Row B 2-15 Un-exposed Confetti Seeds
  • Row A 2-14 X-Ray Exposed

9/8/2019 7:40am



  • Row A: 2, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14
  • Row B: 2, 9, 14
  • Row C: None
  • Row D: 4, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15

Interesting that the exposed seeds are germinating so quickly compared to the rest. The F1 seeds are not the most vital since they spent half their life in low light conditions (probably).


Ok, so I did some more experiments with the x-ray stuff and I think the x-rays I was producing at 3vdc were too soft for the seeds to be so viable. They should actually be taking MORE time (because of the time required to repair the DNA). I turned up the voltage to ~4.5v and was able to get the geiger counter going wild outside the lead container.

So I exposed my collection of cat's claw seeds that I collected while running through an alleyway. After about 5 minutes at 4.5vdc into the HV module + 2x2a I spread the seeds through a little section of the garden. I've read they can take anywhere from 3weeks to 3+months to germinate, I've had a small pot going with no success yet. We'll see what we can pull from the chaos!


tricot small downward flowers stem cotyledons
  1. Looks like there's three cotyledon leaves on that first picture (A7)
  2. Both cotyledon leaves appeared diminished, but secondary leaves still grew, although small(A9)
  3. The 2nd to last picture shows a plant that have given up radial symmetry, and the flower buds appear to be pointing down(A14)
  4. And finally the last picture is one of the most interesting mutants so far, the cotyledon leaves have extended stems (D8)

Buds have begun to form, there is a lot of variation with the height of the plants which makes lighting difficult.

Currently Growing:

  • Row A: 2, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14
  • Row B: 2, 5, 6, 8, 12
  • Row C: None
  • Row D: 4, 8, 13, 15

None of my F1 seeds germinated :( (Row C). The x-ray exposed rows (A and D) showed at 40% survival rate (11/27 seeds). The unexposed seeds showed at 35% survival rate, which is odd because the first time I grew M0 fast plant seeds they had almost 100% survival rate out of 42 seeds. I suspect there was a fungal infection of some sort carried over from the first round of seeds combined with over-watering. I need to come up with a better watering solution.


A15-mold D15-silique A13-second-flowers A13-full A7-flower-explosion

Pictures from left to right:

  1. A picture of the mold that has taken over the whole setup, it was there the first time, but it's come around much sooner and much stronger than the first time. I need to probably just toss this setup and think of something new.
  2. Picture of D15's deformed seed pods or Silique not sure what their final form will be, but the initial plant wasn't too different besides having one shrunk cotyledon.
  3. A13 produced a 2nd set of flowers from the first Y branching after the first set went immediately from bud to silique production seeming to skip pollen production and the flowers even seemed to die off before even existing.
  4. A full shot of A13
  5. A7 was the one with the tri-cotyledon and grew a stem with weak flowers all the way up to a bunch of flowers that seem to be producing pollen and I've been pollinating it by hand and keeping the pollen sticks labelled and separate.


A13-roots A14-buds
  1. A13 roots since they stood out to me today. I still have the light on and am letting the seeds mature, hopefully some will be viable.
  2. A14 cluster of compressed buds, no attempts at flowering just yet


Late with this final update on the first round of x-ray'd fast plants. I'm just going to post pictures and then turn the X-RayMutagenesis page into a hub page leading to a page for each species that I'm messing with.


A9 10-6-2019

This is the only pic from this date (besides one of a datura pod), it's of plant A9 which was the one that started with the stunted cotyledons, waited a while then made the stem where it created a bunch of buds without any yellow pedals or pollen, you can see a white flower parts in the middle. I didn't get any seed (unsurprisingly).


A14 10-8-2019

Another single picture of plant A14, this one started with the buds facing downwards.


A14 10-10-2019 A13 10-10-2019
  1. A14 with it's strange silique etc
  2. A13, it looks like silique formed where seeds should have been growing and are bursting out, none of the seeds from this plant looked viable, but it was one of my favorite mutants


A14 10-23-2019 A9 10-23-2019
  1. A14 again, 13 days later, more silique and attempts at "correct" behavior.
  2. A9, fallen pedals

10/28/19 - Clean up and collect seed

Before Cleaning A9 10-28-2019 A14 10-28-2019 A1 10-28-2019 Seed Bags

Here are the final pictures of the plants before I clean out the tray.

  1. The tray before cleaning
  2. A9 looking sad, I stopped watering on the 23rd I think
  3. A14
  4. A1, I was hoping those shadows would be a couple good seeds, but they looked pretty wilted when I broke it open.
  5. Seed bags, A7 produced a big fat seed with some strange little ones, worth seeing if it will germinate, D15 was the only mutant to produce "normal" looking seed, but that was after it created a separate stalk that produced non-deformed silique. The first flush of silique didn't produce seed, just pollen I think. Row B was the non-mutant seeds.

And that's it for the first round of Wisconsin Fast Plant mutations! For the next round I need to come up with a more regulated watering system (wick on wick instead of wick into water) and maybe give the plants a bit more room and start with the "astro plants" variety of WFP.


Wow, it's been a while. Plan:

  • Design a better WFP growing setup that uses a double-felt wicking system to help regulate the watering.
  • Plant our 2nd generation mutant seeds, some plain astro plants and some x-ray'd astro plants

When: no rush!


Wow, it's only been 10 days! What I did: Ordered a WFP Watering System because I really wanted to follow the recommended procedure for watering and I wasn't really sure about the materials, I'm still not sure what the wicks are made from. I also ordered the styrofoam quads and today I planted a series quad planters containing seeds from plants A7, D15 as well as seeds from Row "B". I put them under the fluorescent lights with the watering setup, let's see what happens!


And we've got our first germination on a couple D15 quads!



Very pleased with the variety and the number of original mutant traits pushing through to the F1 generation! The A7 seeds did not germinate, I didn't have much hope for them since the seeds themselves looked deformed.

The D15 plant has been a great mutant "mother", producing some interesting daughters. I've named one Purple Tres because of the solid purple leaves and the tri-cotyledon mutation, it's a beautiful unique specimen:

purple-tres-baby purple-tres-budding

1: March 23, 2: March 26

I'm going to cross it with the shortest & most hearty looking D15 offspring.

Row B wasn't very fertile surprisingly, only one seed seemed to make it to this point. I think I had a few more germinate except they were eaten by an insect of some sort maybe?


March 26

And here's some group pictures:

group-F1-mutants group-F1-mutants2

1: March 23, 2: March 27

I don't want to forget to mention that the "twisted silique" mutation was actually passed down in one of the plants, it grew two huge secondary leaves with almost black-purple making up most of it, then the middle stalk was twisted, literally in a loop and the flower buds look like twisted and split open siliques just like A13 in the original mutant generation.

I've been pollen bagging and staking the stalks as needed the past couple days, today I tested a couple of the open blooms for pollen with nothing yet. I would be sad if my Purple Tres doesn't pass it's genetics down to F2.


I've let the plants dry and I've collected a good amount of F2 seed into bags labeled with attributes:

  • Petite Purple (3-plants), the seeds don't look too healthy
  • Medium Purple, seeds are plentiful and look great
  • Purple Tres x Petite, I don't see any seed, just silique debris :(
  • 4 bags "Tall and Purple": 2 of them had no seeds, 2 had a few that looked viable
  • Tall Not Very Purple, lots of good seed
  • Purple Tres: Maybe one seed

I think I'm going to break this page into M0, M1, F1, F2 because this is getting pretty long. I'm also working on learning LaTeX to write a professional looking paper and slap it up on Vixra or something.


Planted some of the seed yesterday, I labeled each "quad planter" with a UPC sticker (40 through 47).

  • 0040: Planted the one "Purple Tres" seed in the marked quadrant. The other 3 are "Petite Purple".
  • 0041: All 4 are "Petite Purple", from 3 different plants.
  • 0042-0047: Remaining 5 quads are seeds from the "Medium Purple" plant.

Some of the seeds look like they've started germinating before they dried out! One or two from the medium plant, and then a few from the tall ones (I didn't plant any seed from the tall plants), I didn't see any germination overnight.

Tags: xray

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Page last modified on May 13, 2020, at 03:49 pm