hort.net Seasonal photo, (c) 2006 Christopher P. Lindsey, All Rights Reserved: do not copy
articles | gallery of plants | blog | tech blog | plant profiles | patents | mailing lists | top stories | links | shorturl service | tom clothier's archive0
Gallery of Plants
Tech Blog
Plant Profiles
Mailing Lists
    Search ALL lists
    Search help
    Subscription info
Top Stories
sHORTurl service
Tom Clothier's Archive
 Top Stories
Disease could hit Britain's trees hard

Ten of the best snowdrop cultivars

Plant protein database helps identify plant gene functions

Dendroclimatologists record history through trees

Potato beetle could be thwarted through gene manipulation

Hawaii expands coffee farm quarantine

Study explains flower petal loss

Unauthorized use of a plant doesn't invalidate it's patent

RSS story archive

RE: [Aroid-l] Hybrids?

  • Subject: RE: [Aroid-l] Hybrids?
  • From: "D. Christopher Rogers" <crogers@ecoanalysts.com>
  • Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2007 09:58:48 -0800
  • Importance: Normal


I am not a botanist, but I am a professional zoologist and a taxonomist at
that. In zoology, hybridizability is the defining character for genera; if
the gametes from two species can form a zygote, whether that zygote develops
into a sexually viable or inviable (sterile) adult, then the two species
belong to the same genus. There are of course separate rules for
parthenogenic organisms. Obviously this definition will not work for plants
where, for example, in the orchids, hybrids between genera, tribes, and
subfamilies occur, even though the plants are from opposite corners of the

But something that all taxonomists need to keep in mind is that unlike the
species (or specific) designation, which is an exclusive concept, all other
taxonomic categories (genus, tribe, subfamily, family, on up) are inclusive
categories. If we keep emphasizing the differences between groups we run
into the problem of putting each species in its own genus, each genus in its
own family, and so on. At that point the taxonomy become meaningless.

So, in nature there are natural hybrids. This means that there is gene flow
within genera. There are also entities called stabilized hybrids. These are
reproducing populations of hybrids that have a stabilized set of characters,
and are capable of continued existence without input of new genetic material
from either parent taxon. Every once in a while, I hear of a species that
has been discovered to be in actuality a stabilized hybrid of two other
taxa. But they are functioning independently of the two parent taxa.

Stabilized hybrids typically appear not because the two species are
overlapping in distribution, but because they very rarely meet. In someplace
remote to both species, but rarely colonized by each, they have few mate
choices, and often choose the congener. These resulting hybrids often have
all the best characteristics of both parent taxa, maybe giving them the
characteristics they need to survive in a peripheral habitat. This can be a
source of speciation.

I hope my ramblings are of some use,

D. Christopher Rogers
Invertebrate Ecologist/Taxonomist

EcoAnalysts, Inc.
(530) 406-1178
166 Buckeye Street
Woodland CA 95695 USA

? Invertebrate Taxonomy
? Invertebrate Ecological Studies
? Bioassessment and Study Design
? Endangered Invertebrate Species
? Zooplankton
? Periphyton/ Phytoplankton

Moscow, ID ? Bozeman, MT ? Woodland, CA ? Neosho, MO ? Selinsgrove, PA

Aroid-l mailing list

Other Mailing lists | Author Index | Date Index | Subject Index | Thread Index

 © 1995-2015 Mallorn Computing, Inc.All Rights Reserved.
Our Privacy Statement