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RE: Yellow/orange/pink

  • Subject: [iris-photos] RE: Yellow/orange/pink
  • From: "Neil A Mogensen" neilm@charter.net
  • Date: Mon, 2 May 2005 18:44:49 -0400

Chuck,  this kind of record of progeny from a series of crosses you have
posted is especially valuable, I believe, and whets the appetite for more.
You've paid more attention to this issue than anyone else of whom I know.

From remarks in TWOI, observations among my own seedlings and study of
pedigrees (always to be taken with a grain of salt, unfortunately) it is
clear that the genetics of the Carotene family of Yellow (orange, pink,
etc.) colors is neither simple nor unitary.  Apparently more than one
synthesis tracks run in parallel, or perhaps we are simply seeing some
evidence of the genetic richness possible in tetraploids.

Since the predominant origin of carotenoid pigments among the beardeds is
from one species alone, *I. variegata,* one would be tempted to assume the
genetics would be all on one track.  Clearly it is not so.  Even in the
species itself there is quite a range of variation.

I note that the "Joyce Terry" distribution (yellow standards, white falls
bordered yellow, and often solid yellow on the back side with an echo of the
fall surface on the inside of the standards) is quite common in *variegata*

As an aside, it seems remarkable to me, as frequently as this pattern is
encountered, there has never been a name developed to describe it.  "Joyce
Terry" itself is really rather recent in the development of irises, and
equally remarkable that of all the work with pinks and other colors coming
from the garden of Tell Muhlestein, this perennial favorite is the one
variety of his is the one most vividly remembered.

Be that as it may--the remarkable variety of patterns in which yellow (etc.)
can occur is most obvious when a dominant white is crossed with an intense
yellow self.  The range of patterns in the seedlings of such a cross is

The extreme form of the "Joyce Terry" pattern appears to be what we find in
BRIDE'S HALO, and is faintly present in the tangerine bearded JERSEY BOUNCE
from Keith Keppel.  One remarkable variation on this form of the pattern is
in Joe Ghio's REVERE, where the yellow band on the petal edge is found only
on the standards, with no suggestion of it hidden behind the "Emma Cook"
band on the falls.

Another thing I find of curiosity is the gradual emergence of the yellow
amoena pattern.  There were a number of yellow varieties beginning to show
up by the early forties at the latest which had from a subtle to a not so
subtle difference in yellow intensity between the lighter standards and
richer yellow falls.  These, of course, were among the varieties that led to
the yellow amoenas.  The emergence was so gradual, however, the actual
origin of the pattern is a mystery.

Along with some other evidence, some of which you have published or pointed
out in photographs, and to which Dr. Mecklenburg also recently referred, is
the apparent separate control of pattern or distribution between standards
and falls found in some but not all varieties, both in carotenoid and in
flavenoid (anthocyanins and more) pigments.

At least in the SDBs and in TBs as well, there is a further separation
between color control in the petals and the beards.  I look forward to the
day when we will (hopefully) have pulled what we see in SDBs into TBs by
means of crosses involving the IBs.  Some beautiful contrasts in blue beards
on pink flowers, of which we see some suggestion already from pure TB
sources as in Mike Sutton's recently posted seedling photo, will have taken
on a radically deeper development when CHANTED descendants among fully
"Tall" varieties display this genetic mix.  I hope I live to see that day.

Neil Mogensen  z 7  Reg 4 western NC mountains

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