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Re: Chirality

Dear Ted:  

I was once convinced that the direction of opening was important but a
big survey we did with the way leaves opened proved that this appears to
be perhaps totally at random. 


-----Original Message-----
From: aroid-l-bounces@www.gizmoworks.com
[mailto:aroid-l-bounces@www.gizmoworks.com] On Behalf Of Theodore Held
Sent: Monday, October 24, 2011 12:46 PM
To: Discussion of aroids
Subject: [Aroid-l] Chirality

Dear List,

Attached here (with luck) is a picture I made of a pair of blooms from
a Cryptocoryne griffithi (identity confirmed by Peter Boyce at the
recent IAS show). What's interesting to me is that the outer spathe
tip (called the flag for Crypts) of the plants twists to the left for
one and to the right for the other. These plants are vegetative kin.

I have also seen the pairing of left-handed and right-handed
inflorescences on Cryptocoryne pontederifolia.

Has anyone ever noticed mirror-image flower forms like this with any
other aroids? In chemistry differences involving only mirror images
are referred to as chiral isomers and originate with subtle
molecular-level geometry. In normal life this is called "handedness."
In a plant bloom, the differences may display as macroscopic
phenomena, but likely originate with early development, also perhaps
on a molecular level.

Please enlighten me if anyone knows about this oddity.

Ted Held.
Aroid-L mailing list

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