Origin of Sports Discussion
It is a normal phenomenon within a gardening /scientific community ,
that if a scientific scholar wishes to present results of his
observations , scientific research, or simply his views or opinions,
that he presents them in writing in an acceptable style to a recognized
organization for publication. If such an article passes muster without
serious opposition or contradiction, the concepts presented may be
accepted over time. Any qualified person with different opinions, based
upon their own experiences or observations, may offer a rebuttal or a
critique of their own. Within the boundaries of this understanding, I
raise several questions regarding the merits of three publications.
On three occasions within the last five years, the AHJ has published
three different articles written by Ben Zonneveld which present the same
concept, i.e. that there are three causes for sports in hostas, i.e.
mitotic recombinations (or chromosome crossingover phenomena) , chimeral
rearrangements (better known as tissue tranfers) and nuclear mutations.
This theme or concept is repeated in a similar manner in each of the
articles as though it has become established fact. As a serious scholar
of this particular subject matter, I question the correctness, relative
importance and completeness of the various parts of the concept
described. I find that the concepts described are not consistent with
other scientific presentations on this same subject. The three articles
in question are listed as follows :
1.Ben Zonneveld, Mutations, Recombinations,Sports and Chimaerae, AHJ
Vol. 27, No. 1.
2.Ben Zonneveld, Rule of Thumb for Sports in Hostas, AHJ Vol.28. No. 1.
3.Ben Zonneveld, When are Independently Arisen Look-alike Sports
Identical Rather Than Only Similar?, AHJ Vol. 30, No. 1.
I propose that hosta scholars interested in this subject matter may wish
to participate in an open discussion of the concepts regarding the
causes of variegation and monocolors in bud sports in hostas. A
compartative analysis of these three articles and other presentations of
other workers can be made. Hosta-open, as an open forum should be an
excellent media for discussion by those interested in participating,
even in a small way. I am prepard to make critique- type statements
regarding the validity of these three articles. Other participants may
or may not wish to make supporting or critical observations of their
own. I hope that our discussion may be civil, scholarly and soundly
based on facts that can be substantiated. We may learn how to conduct a
fair, logical assessmant of scientific ideas and to judge their value
to the hosta community. I apologize to Andrew Lietzow. My intention is
not to pre-empt a discussion away from his Hostahaven Forum Discussion.
Perhaps he is interested in incorporating it in a written form into his
I make a serious request. Since the work of Dr. Kevin Vaughn is such an
important part of this discussion, I ask that if anyone has a copy of
his article, Chloroplast Mutants in Hostas, AHS Bulletin 11, that they
try to make relevant portions of it available to the group discussion
in some fashion (scanning or typing portions of it in an email
message???). I read Alex Summers' copy of it some seven years ago . I
remember the substance of it but not the verbatim text. When my back
copy is received from Steve Greene soon, I will feel a bit more on
I suggest the issue to be discussed be..........What are the major
causes for sports in hostas, especially the variegated chimeras? And
what are the insignificant, less frequent causes? I contend that the
answers were provided to us when Dr. Vaughn published his first article
on this subject in the early eighties.....some 20 years ago. Why then
are opposing ideas which I contend are incorrect, being published
again...three times in a row. Are we abandoning conventional wisdom and
now propagating incorrect information? By opposing the views presented
by Zonneveld, I am suggesting that his concepts may not stand the test
Please feel free, all scholars of hosta technology and science, in
helping us determine a better understanding of hosta sports and their
causes. This discussion is not a political one. It is not about
personalities, but rather scientific facts that have been adequately
studied over the years.
So read these articles with an open mind and be prepared to read others
to be mentioned later in this on-going discussion.
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