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Re: Hybrids


Let's see if I can interpolate some silly remarks here for Eduardo.........

> Dear all,
>    After Wilbert's "5-printed-pages" message, I don't have much to add. I
> just have some VERY personal opinions:
> 1. Hybridisation is mostly for fun, aesthetics (I usually hate hybrids,
> people use to like it) and, obviously, for commercial purpouses. If you
> to study plants, look for them in the wild!

Agreed. Although I took the liberty of having wild plants grow in
greenhouses. Is that o.k. with you?

> 2. To keep a good source for hybridisation experiments is a good excuse
> preserve natural "species". Why not use it? When you visit a tropical
> country, and see how fast "we" are destroying our natural resources, you
> would understand that all potential useful strategy are pretty welcome.

Somehow I fail to see what hybridisation in cultivation contributes to
preservation? Care to explain?

> 4. Reticulation is a term we use to define the crossing of two different
> "species" (whatever it means), following by the stabilisation of the
> (usually by polyploidy). If you try to wonder the species arising (in an
> evolutive sense) like branches of a tree, reticulation is when two
> fuse in only one. That's why it is called "reticulation". The tree would
> look like a net of branches. At a first glance, we just can't define if a
> quoted species is a product of reticulation or if it evolved like Darwin
> showed us. And it is possible that such phenomenon is much more common
> we thought before. But Wilbert was very correct in his comment: We don't
> need this information to recognize "species", unless we change our
> morpho-anatomical concept for a molecular-statistical approach. I think it
> would take some time to occur (not much) and certainly will cause much
> pain!

I might even add, that reticulate processes of hybridisation may lead to
populations that exhibit unique feature-combinations not found in the
parental species and hence may start their own evolutionary "life" and be
good species in whatever sense of the word. I guess this is basically the
kernel of the "evolutionary Species Concept", which sounds much "sounder" to
me than Mayrs Biological Species Concept. Bla, bla, bla......

> 5. I agree with Bjoern that artificial hybrids are against nature. But, in
> my opinion, civilization is against nature! You just can't stop it...

Ah, this is great. Civilisation is against nature. Glad to hear somebody say
this. I don't know if I would formulate it this drastically but it is what I
said about the difference between "chance" hybridisation in nature and
"intentional" hybridisation in civilisation. Eduardo, I get the feeling you
agree with me more than your previous message led me to believe.

> 6. If you love natural species, instead of cry against hybrids, try to use
> your romantic strength to fight against destruction of natural landscapes.

I hope you're not saying this to me because I am NOT against artificial
hybrids, as I wrote. Hell, I even used Pinellia 'Polly Spout' as an example.

> Remember that the main diversity of aroids are not at the European or
> American greenhouses, but in the forests, marshes and savannas here in
> Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Central America, Southeastern
> Asia and tropical Africa, as well as many other places.

I guess you may have to be careful here in distinguishing "natural"
diversity (= biodiversity) and artificial greenhouse diversity. I guess in
aroids the number of cultivars (making up the culto-diversity) may still be
smaller than the number of species representing the natural aroid diversity,
but this may change. Look at Gerbera. Anywhere between 2 and 10 species
making up the biodiversity and thousands of cultivars making up the
culto-diversity. But as I said, the two are incomparable in an essential

They are
> dissappearing fast. And it is not a problem of those countries
> because some things are unique and all mankind will lose them. A good
> example is Gearum. The occurrence of Gearum seems to be somewhat
> and during the last two years, the whole region is becoming a huge soybean
> plantation. Since we don't eat soybean at a regular basis in Brazil, those
> plantations are for exportation to the richer countries. See, we can't
> preserve it by ourselves, because it depends on other countries. Like
> Brazilians say, in these cases the money screams louder! Take a look at
> last Aroideana issue and you will agree that Gearum shouldn't dissapear
> forever. No living plant should!

You are such a romantic!! But I guess you're right that natural resources
are exploited and probably mostly so by "rich countries". And what are you,
as a person living IN an "exploited" country, going to do about it? Tell
others to keep their hands off? That won't work. Tell your government to
keep others out and try to establish your own useful system of exploitation
that may also hold a preservation component (NOT shifting cultivation but
sustainable agriculture etc.). It's your call! Rich countries cannot exploit
other countries if they are not "helped" from within by corrupt governments
or corrupt civil servants etc.

Have a nice week too,


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