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HYB: question for Eloy Bloom

  • Subject: HYB: question for Eloy Bloom
  • From: Bill Shear <wshear@hsc.edu>
  • Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2002 09:10:05 -0500

Would it be possible to determine, on the basis of DNA content, if a
particular plant were a hybrid between two stated species?

For example, if a plant were claimed to be a hybrid between I. ensata and I.
siberica,  would the DNA content be intermediate between the two supposed
parent species, and would the analysis be precise enough to determine this?

If the hybrids had intermediate DNA content, as opposed to the same DNA
content as either of the supposed parent species, I think this could be
taken as evidence of the hybrid nature of the plant.  On the other hand, if
the DNA content were identical to one or the other of the parents, this
would be evidence against the hybrid status of the plant in question.

Carrying on to other relevant recent posts, such hybrids should also show a
mixture of chromosome morphologies, with identifiable chromosomes from each
supposed parent.

If my speculations are correct, two recent controversies in irises could by
resolved:  Are Christy Hensler's plants really hybrids between ensata and
siberica, as claimed?   Is Iris sanguinea a "hybrid species" arising from
ensata and laevigata, as Tony Huber wrote in the most recent AIS Bulletin?

Bill Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943
FAX (434)223-6374
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