I get at least five here every year and have a file folder of them that
I keep seperatly. Not all changes involve flowers. Sometimes foliage
colour. I have one that had a sport with PBF while mother plant didn't.
I have a sport now of Forever Blue that looks as if it will be an IB in
I have had both cartenoid and anthocyanin chimera flowers. The most
interesting ones are where each flower on one side of flower stalf had
the same point mutation. Sometimes they are most dramatic and involve
a whole petal, sometimes only a small portion of the flower petal.
I have one in the garden now and took its picture yesterday. Just a
small wedge of yellow on purple falls.
Kerr has an article on this phenomeon in Tall Talk Fall 2004. For a
more detailed study the book "Plant Cimeras" by Richard A. E.
Tilney-Bassett is a must. Fascinating reading. A number of comercial
apples are tetraploid/diploid chimeras. Very many different forms and
clasification of chimeras. All variagated leaves, that is white and
green are chimeras. Classified by type by lavers of cells. Some fancy
names for these. I was reading this section in the car and started
laughing at the creativity of the names, funny, no one else got the
joke, even after I explained it. (Sometimes the wife wonders about me.
As for red (read maoon and brown , rust etc) they are all a visual
effect of differing amounts of anthocyanin and carotene pigments. When
you put an epidermal peel of an iris flower under high magnification
(600 x up) you can differentiate plastids containing carotene pigments
(contained in cell wall) from the disolved anthocyanin in cell vacuole
(centre). you can also see small globuals of anthocyanin solids known
as anthocyanin vascuole intrusions. These occur in some flowers, but is
relatively uncommon. When you extract pigment from any of these
"reddish" group you clearly get a seperation of anthocyanin and
carotene. pigments. the anthocyanin from a reddish flower is no
different then the anthocyanin from a blue flower. Anthocyanain is
very sensitive to ph or acidity of solvent, and anthocyanin from red
cabage is often used in high school chemistry labs to test ph, the
colour changes indicating ph. To compare extract from one flower to
another, the ph and concentration of solution MUST be the same. A thin
layer chromotography and spectrometer analysis show them to be the same.
Another way to test this is to take an epidermal peel from a blue
flower and place it over a yellow flower. Voila, a reddish colour, no
contact of chemicals though.
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