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Re: Line breeding vs hybridization

  • Subject: Re: Line breeding vs hybridization
  • From: "Ron Iles" <roniles@eircom.net>
  • Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 15:12:24 -0500 (CDT)

Dear Jim,

Wonderful to have your wisdom.

The choice of Symphysodon in retrospect now seems apt.   As a species with
narrow environmental tolerances from in-numerable habitats in a massive
area, it seems critical to keep forms, sub-species, strains, from the
countless wild locations distinct.  Given the systems of collection &
exportation, this is at least difficult.   Countless different strains of
"brighter" fishes selected from all over the undefined wild are used
"domestically" to interbreed and then inbreed (line-breed) even brighter
"hybrids" with no known pedigrees or common origins.  The innumerable "wild"
strains are not domestically pure bred in communities.  Genetic integrity is
lost from the moment of collection.

I submit that the genus exemplifies how sub-species & ecological niche
integrity is irretrievably lost on a vast scale before hybridisation.
This is the way I view the distressing unconcern of some animal culture &
horticulture for either the origin or plight of wild species.    If the
security of wild species IS assured I care not whether or not they are
hybridised or inbred or both.   I do love the best German "hybrid" strains
and both two wild species but I detest the gaudy designer Discus which
retain little of the aristocracy of their more ancient ancestry.

Which species of Spathiphyllum do they still grow in the Aquarium?



| Dear Iza and Ron,
| You're both slightly off the mark. Ron is correct that the modern strains
| aquarium discus are the result of out-crossing between several subspecies
| Symphysodon aequifasciatus (there is little evidence that the second
| S. discus is involved in this effort). But Iza is correct that at this
| in time these "new" strains are frequently being line-bred for many
| generations - even though newer outcrosses are still occurring.
| Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some of the strains are incredibly
| beautiful, yet it will be tough to ever perfect upon the subtle colors and
| patterns of S. aequifasciatus axelrodi!
|     Jim Langhammer, retired Curator of Fishes

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