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Re: 23 species or less?

  • Subject: Re: 23 species or less?
  • From: halinar@open.org
  • Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 11:42:02 -0800 (PST)


>Thanks very much for your valuable and sound reply This must be 
>about the first I received from anyone of the Hosta society since 
>my paper appeared a year ago.

I think a lot of hosta people like the idea of your research with DNA 
content in hostas.  What they don't like is your refusal to give 
details or to respond to criticism of your techniques.

First, I appreciate your research with DNA content and this is 
valuable information, BUT it is only ONE piece of information.  This 
information has to be used in conjunction with other data, such as 
geographic distribution, karyotype, chromosome banding, anatomy and 
various genetic traits.  You can't just take your DNA content and say 
one hosta is a species and another isn't just because of the DNA 

Second, you have not given us any indication of what the standard 
deviation is for you data.  If the SD is 1 pg, then your 95% 
confidence level is plus or minus 2 pg.  Thus, if you say a certain 
hosta has 30 pg DNA, then at the 95% confidence level your DNA content 
is 30 +/- 2 pg.  Thus, the hosta can have a DNA of 28 to 32 pg.  If 
you have another hosta with 29 pg, it's 95% confidence level is 27 to 
31 pg.  Since there is so much over lap of the results there is no way 
you can say they really have different DNA content.

I've seen some of the flow cytomotery work done by lily hybridizers 
and they generally feel good just to be able to seperate diploids from 
triploids from tetraploids.  I don't know of any research in any other 
plant genera where people are claiming that the DNA content can be the 
sole criteria for seperating species.  Your DNA research is cetainly 
valuable, but it has to be used within its limititations.

Joe Halinar

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