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Re: CULT:SPEC: Lloyd's I. tectorum

From: Bill Shear <BILLS@hsc.edu>

I. tectorum album is the result of a single recessive gene which inhibits
pigment formation.  Each plant has two of these genes (if we're talking
diploids, and I assume we are), so if we call the pigment gene A and the
no-pigment gene a, there are three possible combinations: AA, Aa and aa.

Because A is "dominant", both AA and Aa are blue-violet.  Dominance simply
means that the allele, or gene-form, is expressed in the plant at the
expense of its counterpart when they occur together, so it's an empirical
observation, not really some mysterious mechanism.

When the plant produces eggs and pollen, the gene pairs separate.  If the
plants are AA or aa, then they can only produce one kind of egg or pollen,
but if they are Aa, two kinds are produced in equal numbers.  Half have A
and half have a.

So--to get back to Lloyd's situation.  If album is self-pollinated (aa X
aa), then only white seedlings will result.  But if album is pollinated by
a pure-bred violet plant (aa X AA), all the seedlings will be Aa and hence
have pigment.  That would require the presence in the garden of pigmented
tectorum as well as the white.  (If two seedlings from the latter cross
were themselves crossed [Aa X Aa], then one-fourth of the seedlings would
be expected to be white).

The point is that you can expect white flowers from album seed only if you
can be sure of self-polliantion or pollination  by another album plant.

Also, a question about Anner's use of the word "clone".  A clone is a
vegetatively propagated set of genetically identical plants.  If you grow a
new plant from SIGNA seed, it can't be a member of the clone from which the
seed came because it will not be genetically identical to the parent.  You
can only say you have a clone of a particular plant if your material arose
from a piece of the original parent, not a seed.

Bill Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943
FAX (804)223-6374

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