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Moving On

Hi Joe,
        I have a couple points I'd like to make. Please bear with my limited understanding. One is that nuclear mutations are I think more common than is generally perceived. We must remember that the likelihood of a nuclear mutation producing a plant that is attractive and clearly worth naming is fairly small. A high percentage of nuclear mutations would cause changes other than variegation. Some, perhaps many would be fatal, many others would result in stunted damaged looking plants that would fail to thrive. Others would produce curiosities like twisted scapes, fused veins, maybe fasciated scapes, flowers that don't form properly, loss of red pigment, and a hundred other strange things that generally go unrecorded, much less named. I have seen all of these in nurseries and most end up in the trash. 
       Another is that 'Great Expectations' is an unusual plant, and probably should not be chosen as an example to use in describing processes. It has a center composed of tissue that is sufficiently lacking in chlorophyll so that a sport composed of only that tissue cannot live, thus it acts like a white-centered type in that regard. Yet it gives numerous gold seedlings that do have enough chlorophyll to grow, as you would expect from a gold-centered form. In a way it is like a missing link between the two main types of mutated tissue commonly found in Hosta. For this reason it should be considered a special case, and we should use a more representative plant.
       What I would like to hear from you is this: What should we keep an eye (and camera) out for?
Unusual photos like the possible twin spot one could be evidence of certain processes. Are there other things we can all watch for which might be important clues to further understanding the nature of sports?
Or simple experiments in breeding we can do and report on? This is an area in which we need some real leadership from someone with your background. I'm not asking you to answer this now, just keep it in mind for later. Some of us can help with field research, and this too is a necessary part of reaching a truly comprehensive understanding.
                                                                                                                ......Bill Meyer

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