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Re: Luminata Genetics

  • Subject: [PHOTO] [iris-photos] Re: Luminata Genetics
  • From: "David Ferguson" <manzano57@msn.com>
  • Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 10:29:37 -0700
  • Seal-send-time: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 10:29:38 -0700

First off, sorry if the print size is all mixed up on this.  There is something funky going on with this e-mail as I write it, and the size keeps popping up and down.  I can't fix it, but I don't want to start fresh, so well see how it comes through.  If we have 8, 10, 11, 12, and 14 all mixed up, think of it as computer generated art (?).  It's very annoying as I write.
Now to the subject.  I am not very "up" on luminata genetics.  However, I see what looks like luminata influence in a lot more than just the "classic" examples.  It is a pattern that always catches my eye, so I tend to look for it in all the flowers I see. 
I do know the definition of a luminata, but it appears to me that many are still confused (more on that further down).
I would have to say that 'Classic Suede' does meet the definition quoted by Chuck, it just happens to have a muddy background color.  There is often a touch of anthocyanin to the "background, base, or ground" coloring of the flower which is separate from the darker anthocyanin pattern which appears to overly it.  So it is not unusual to have a luminata or plicata pattern over a bluish or purplish background.  In this case the "bluish" or "purplish" appears to be combined with a yellow pigment to make a brownish gold.  Plus, take a closer look at 'Circus World'.  The darker pattern is fairly classic luminata, but the anthocyanin saturation is strong, and it is limited to the falls.
The point is that they all have the anthocyanin missing from along veins, which indicates to me that luminata genetics is likely involved.  I don't mean to assert that they are indeed all pure luminatas, didn't even mean to imply it.  Certainly they aren't.  That's the whole point.  I just wanted to throw them into the discussion, since to me they show probable influence of luminata genetics.  I should have stated this when sending the photos.  Other genetics mixed with luminata genes could perhaps make for some pretty interesting coloring, and I doubt we've seen all the possibilities yet.
I would ask this though.  Wouldn't they still genetically be luminatas even if they aren't pure luminata?  The luminata pattern is expressed regardless.  This is getting into semantics.
I don't believe that luminata patterning has to be limited to the mid section of the falls.  Sometimes it is a faint patch or shading in the middle, and sometimes it is expanded to include nearly the whole flower, or at least the whole of the falls, right up to the margin.  Sometimes the flower becomes dark enough that the luminata pale veining is faint and the light area at the base is nearly entirely gone.  It seems that these often have a pale dart running down the middle of the falls from the end of the beard (ie. 'Charged Up' and 'Splash of Raspberry'.  As for the lack of anthocyanin near the margins, even the first luminatas from which the name was drawn are purple to within a knife's edge of the margin.  I may be misinterpreting these as luminatas, but they sure look related to me. 
I find the luminata-ish coloring concentrated near the shoulders of the falls, such as in 'Fast Track' and 'Burst' to be the most interesting of all, as the luminata pale veining is there, but the dark pigmenting is basically in the wrong place.  I also don't believe that the statement that there is "no anthocyanin in hafts, the style arms, or the beard" is always true.  The darkening might be caused by a combination of non-luminata genes with luminata.
Then there is the issue of why some (not just luminata, but plicatas and others as well) have little no anthocyanin patterning on the standards and others have almost matching standards and falls.  However, I don't want to dig into that here, and I'm sure it's been discussed before.
I know that when luminata and plicata patterns are mixed in the same flower, areas around the beard and on the style arms can be darkened by anthocyanin, and often it is difficult to separate luminata from plicata because the base and margin of the falls may be dominated by plicata pattern, and only the mid section or a zone beyond the middle by luminata.  In the case of some such as 'Splashcata', 'Jitterbug', 'Light Speed', and 'Tobasco' the coloring between the veins is broken up giving a speckled affect, but if you look closely the veins are not colored and they clearly show a luminata type patterning. 
These are also all cases where the plicata pattern is filling in the light basal and marginal areas of the luminata pattern.  It is not to the point where the two patterns cancel each other out into the theoretically possible solid-colored luminata-plicata, but it does spread the anthocyanin coloring fairly evenly over the entirety of the falls.  The plicata dark veining with light between is evident on the claw, haft, and around the margin.  The luminata coloring dominates the rest of the falls.  The standards don't show much of the luminata patterning (but often this is poorly developed on the standards anyway), but there is evidence of the plicata dark veining on some of them.  These are classic examples of what I would have considered to be luminata-plicatas (or whatever the accepted terminology is now). 
If you start looking closely at the plicatas out there, there are many that have a luminata type patterning.  These have the classic plicata veining toward the base and margins of the falls.  In most there is a white, yellow, or otherwise pale zone around the beard, often reaching over halfway across the falls, with the plicata pattern often barely showing beyond the beard, and with the luminata pattern starting beyond this (just as in the "zonals" that have been getting a lot of discussion lately).  Often on these there is a strong dark dart down the middle of the falls (also common in plicatas).  To me this is also a combination of luminata and plicata, just not as fully pigmented as the previous examples.  This is rarely noticed in descriptions of these flowers, and it is rarely discussed when luminatas are discussed.  They are almost invariably classed as plicatas.  It is also commonplace in these to have the anthocyanin broken by pale coloring into what appears as speckling.  Often the standards have little or no anthocyanin patterning, but when there is some, it tends to favor the plicata side.  I've attached a photo of one of these (there are a great many of them).  I don?t know the history nor genetics of plicata patterns well either, but I suspect these sorts were commonplace long before the classic luminata appeared free from the plicata combination.
I think that the definition of a luminata has been misunderstood by many as well.  This is something that I had trouble clarifying early on, because published definitions were often in conflict with one another.  Francelle Edwards writes "I thought luminatas had white centers and very light colored beards giving an effect of a luminescent glow from the center, hence the name.  I don't see that characteristic in these pictures."  This is the common belief about what the definition of a luminata is, but it focuses on the light area at the base of the falls, and ignores the main feature, which is the distributiun of the anthocyanin between the veins and with a strongest concentration of the anthocyanin (usually) toward the center of the falls.  A lot of non-luminatas meat the definition Francelle describes, and I know that a number of non-luminatas are registered as luminatas, while quite a lot more are listed as luminatas in catalogs. 
If you look at the original "luminatas" 'Bertha Gerdsdorff, Moonlit Sea, etc., it is the white striping contrasting with the dark coloring and the glaciata-like lack of dark haft and claw stripes that really stands out.  The pale zone around the beard, while contrasting with the dark pigment, isn't really very large or unique.  The pale margin that lacks anthocyanin is almost wire thin, but it is there.  It is these pale areas that tend to get patterned or filled in when luminata pattern is combined with others, yet the pale veining is usually still expressed.  So, for me, it is the pale veining that seems to be the most characteristic of the traits of a luminata (or at least of _expression_ of luminata genes).
Now a brief comment on "zonals".  This is a new term to me.  Never heard it before recently on these Yahoo forums.  To me it is just a striking version of a luminata in which the dark pattern is strongly concentrated toward the outer half of the falls and in which the anthocyanin saturation is often very strong.  It seems they are luminata in all other ways.  I see it frequently combined with plicata patterning to varying degrees from a "whisker" pattern around the beard to the full-blown plicata look mentioned above.  I have always considered cultivars such as 'Victoria Falls', 'Suki', and 'Clarence' to be luminatas.  Perhaps there is another similar pattern type, genetically distinct from luminata, that creates these "zonals".  To me they aren't very different, but the anthocyanin saturation does seem often stronger, more even, with the pale veins weaker (often only visibly expressed at the margin of the dark zone and causing a "feathered" look).  Funny, these zonals are often labeled as luminatas in catalogs.  I can't see an obvious visual way to draw a line of distinction though, as it is a continuum from one extreme to the other.
Am I totally off base here?

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