Leucoplasts and variegation
- Subject: Leucoplasts and variegation
- From: "Steve Lucas/Exotic Rainforest.com" <Steve@ExoticRainforest.com>
- Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2010 16:44:00 -0600
I have been following an internet discussion on variegation and have
run into some terminology that at least appears strange. As I
understand the discussion the term leucoplast is being used to
possibly describe leaf variegation in Spathiphyllum. I was
totally unfamiliar with the term so I ran it through my database of
some 200 PDF aroid books and articles and not a single return was
hit. I then pulled every botanical dictionary off my shelves and
read the definition in each. Several listed nothing.|
For those like me that have no idea what the term means, I have
compiled this definition from all my botanical dictionaries as well
as a few on-line internet articles. If it is wrong,
I would appreciate being corrected by some of our scientists:
"Leucoplasts are a category of non pigmented plastids or
organelles found in plant cells. An organelle is a specialized
subunit within a cell that has a specified function. These
colorless plastids are found in the cells of roots and the
underground storage organs including underground stems such as
tubers, bulbs and corms. The are involved in the storage
functions of these organs including the storage of foods such as
starches, lipids and proteins however some have no involvement at
all in the storage process but
instead process fatty acids as well as amino acids. Typically
leucoplasts are much smaller than chloroplasts and have no
involvement in the leaves of plants."
Is the term leucoplast ever applicable to aroids? For those still not clear it just means the lack of green cells.
I realize that variegation is a natural process but it has been artificially induced in tissue culture as a result of economic reasons. People will often pay more for a variegated plant!
As I understand from previous discussions here on variegation this artificial form is caused by the introduction of Colour Break Virus which is also known in nature.
I have invited the author of the on-line information to discuss this further here since in one of his posts he stated, "Leucoplast was a term I co-opted myself for variegation." It does
appear that at least in some horticultural articles he quoted and information on JSTOR the term leucoplast is used in discussion of variegated aroids but I can't find it otherwise in
any aroid literature.
Steve Marak gave me several articles to read on variegation and I hope he will post those here as well for your consideration.
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