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Re: Iris breeding

In a message dated 97-02-06 23:21:23 EST, Jeff Walters wrote:

<< If modern TBs are
 founded upon a handful of basic genetic material, then Siberians are based
 on a pinch.  >>

Good point, Jeff.  How about Japanese irises! One species only! By the theory
that genetic arrangements and mutations are finite, Japanese irises shouldn't
even exist!  I am firmly in the corner of those who believe that TB breeding
is in its infancy.  As long as people talk of rot, lack of flower durability,
limited geographic adaptability, lack of continuous bloom, etc., there will
be plenty of room for advances to be made. 

When one considers the considerable numbers of species which have been bred
into modern tetraploid TB's, and the number that could be used for breeding
but which have not, the possibities are nearly infinite.  Scientists tell me
that a single cross of two tetraploid parents requires up more 10,000,000
seedlings to exhaust all possible gene combinations.  And this does not
account for the myriad genetic mutations that are possible. And mutations
happen very frequently, as that is the nature of evolution. Most mutations
are not visible to the eye and thus we fail to notice them. 

Since logic tells me there are many possibilities to be achieved in Japanese
iris breeding with that single species,I. ensata,  e.g. dwarfs, extended
seasons, new patterns and colors, lime tolerance, etc, I must believe that
tall bearded iris breeding is in its infancy.  Clarence Mahan in VA

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