So, after many months of trying to sucessfully grow Pilosella aurantiaca in soil free mediums in a growth chamber, it was time to throw in the towel and realize that it was not going to be the ultimate host plant for all of our experiments.
Instead, after talking to Jeff Bennetzen (who was one of the speakers at the symposium in Greece), I managed to find a new plant to work with – Setaria viridis. I’ve been lucky to get to work with seeds from Tom Brutnell’s Laboratory at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and things are looking up. The life cycle of Setaria is rapid and it seems to be growing well under the conditions we want to use for our experiments.
Read more about Setaria viridis as a model plant: http://www.plantcell.org/content/22/8/2537.short
It might not be as colourful and showy as the Orange hawkweed, but it sure is good at stayin’ alive.