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Re: Discussion on Origin of Sports

I wonder if there are not latent buds that are in TC liners that later
express themselves making it look like a sport or reversion but in reality
they were there all along, just not expressed.

Here's some of my reasoning:

When sidboldiana Elegans sported to Great Expectations it was removed from
the mother plant. If this Great Expectations then produced a leaf that
looked like sieboldiana Elegans I would bet that this leaf came from a
latent bud that was there all along but just not expressed. It seems like a
stretch to me to think that it would be a new mutation that just happened to
look exactly like the mother plant. It is my understanding that rhizomes
have hundreds or even thousands of times the number of latent buds than they
do buds that are expressed. In a sported division recently removed from its
mother plant it is much easier to imagine these latent buds are still
present and if this is true then calling it a reversion meaning it has
mutated back to it's original form may not be a correct use of terms. It's
much harder for me to imagine these latent buds passing through the tissue
culture process intact only to show up later but stranger things are
happening all around us.

We know that apical dominance is very much at work in hostas. I wonder if
there is another type of dominance at work that suppresses many of these
mutated tissues that we call sports. Do auxins in hostas work more to
suppress latent buds that differ genetically from the tissues that produced
these auxins than they do to suppress tissues that are identical?

Do sports seem to show up in TC liners often because of the small pieces of
plant tissue used  in TC and therefore any mutated tissues have a better
chance of not being suppressed by the dominant tissue?

As usual I have more questions than answers and more wild guesses than
anything else.

Dan Nelson
Bridgeville DE

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