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OT: Chimera

A chimera is a plant or animal that contains two or more different geneticly
different areas.  Plants with variegated foliage are examples where two
different genetic constitutions are visible--the green and the non green parts
of the leaves have a genetic difference.

Bobby Baxter's mention of colchicine-converted dayliliies is another excellent
example.  The same phenomenon occurs in converted irises.  Plants raised from
seed of the tetraploid parts crossed with other tetraploids are stable.  The
chimeras, as Baxter notes, are not.

Dogs, cats or humans that eyes of different colors are other fairly commonly
seen examples of chimeras.

Pelargoniums ("geraniums") often have a genetic difference between root and
top.  Cuttings grown from root tissue have a different bloom than those grown
from stem cuttings.

Nearly all of us have seen something similar in irises where a bloom will have
a wedge in a petal of a different color, such as a violet wedge on a white
iris.  These too are examples of chimeras probably resulting from background
radiation ("cosmic rays") altering a locus on a chromosome during the early
development of the bloom.  The same sort of phenomenon can affect blossom
form.  Mike Sutton posted a photo of a fall petal of Keith Keppel's WILD WINGS
with a fully developed flounce, a one-time occurance in their growing fields.

Neil Mogensen  z  7  western NC mountains

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