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  #1  
Old 04-06-2017, 11:31 PM
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AnonYMouse AnonYMouse is offline
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Phal. cornu-cervi fm. Flava
Neofinetia falcata 'Shunkyuden'
Cymbidium ensifolium 'Fu Shan'
Instances of peloria
Other instances of mutation

Do these happen in nature?

Are they subspecies, varieties or cultavars?

What are the rules:

If they occur only clonally?
If they occur in pollination (odds)?
Or some other random order?

I know the cultural potential for mutations exist but I'm inquiring about consistent genetic mutations.

Just curious.

(I forget the rules regarding ' n' and "n" so feel free to correct me)
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  #2  
Old 04-06-2017, 11:53 PM
jkofferdahl jkofferdahl is offline
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I believe that P cornu-cervi v. flava could be a natural variant, though I'm not sure. The other two you cite are cultivars (and I admit that the cc v. flava may also be, though it certainly could occur in nature).

Peloria, which doesn't just occur with orchids, is a mutation just as is the "big foot" Phal. Such mutations can make the flower more attractive to a collector and so they may be cloned and bred. Mutations can also occur in nature, and do all of the time, but my suspicion is that due to the change in flower shape the natural pollenator of the species would avoid the mutants and so they probably wouldn't reproduce in the wild.

Even "consistent genetic mutations" such as pelorism require some effort on the part of breeders. The crossing of two pelorics could produce normal flowers unless both plants have pairs of effective genes set for pelorism. The same for self-crossings or sib crossings. Genes gotta be genes.

Right now I'm waiting for a breeder to cross a big foot Phal with a peloric. That'll lead to some pretty interesting mutants. I'll certainly buy one!

As an aside, I don't normally name my plants but all my big foots and pelorics are named "Xavier".

Last edited by jkofferdahl; 04-06-2017 at 11:55 PM..
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  #3  
Old 04-07-2017, 03:23 AM
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A friend discovered a wild population of peloric Rose Pogonia, Pogonia ophioglossoides. He checks on It yearly and the blooms are consistently peloric. It happens.
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  #4  
Old 04-07-2017, 09:16 AM
Optimist Optimist is offline
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What about varigated leaves? I was wondering if they are propagated naturally, or if they are genetic clones made by tissue cultures? If, in a sense, none of these would exist if sharp eyed grower had not discovered them.

But that still means that the plant existed. I know that, for instance you get white crows, white and black squirrels, Albinos in nearly every species including human, dwarfism, hermaphroditism and a lot more varieties of mutations.

I guess that is just the evolution game.

Last edited by Optimist; 04-07-2017 at 09:21 AM..
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  #5  
Old 04-07-2017, 10:48 AM
MrHappyRotter MrHappyRotter is offline
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The answer to pretty much all those questions is, it depends. We're talking about a lot of different types of mutations in a lot of different types of plants. Some mutations occur in nature, some are isolated to individual plants, other times isolated to specific populations (varieties/subspecies), and other times occurs in the entire species.

On the flip side, artificial cultivation allows for rare and even potentially disadvantageous mutations to proliferate. For instance, true variegation is, for the most part, rare and isolated to individual plants in nature. It's usually disadvantageous to have a proportion of the leaf that basically is unable to perform photosynthesis. With any level of competition, a variegated plant is going to lose out. Peloria may be less detrimental, but depending on the severity, may result in flowers that tend to be more difficult for pollinators to find and may even present some issues with being pollinated naturally.

In cultivation, these mutations can happen naturally, but they can also be induced with chemical (or otherwise) treatments in the flasking/cloning process.

Since every mutation is unique, it's hard to say for sure that they can be propagated via standard reproductive techniques. Some do carry through to offspring, some don't (consistently) carry through.

The "ultimate" freak of nature: Phragmipedium lindenii. A peloric ladyslipper species. All typical members of this species have lost the slipper lip, which has reverted to the shape of a regular petal. Hybrids of this species do not typically exhibit peloria.
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  #6  
Old 04-07-2017, 10:54 AM
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Fairorchids Fairorchids is offline
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There are several subjects here:

Variegated Foliage
In some plants this is stable. It occurs on all leaves and is carried forward in seed propagation when you self the plant.

In other plants it is not stable. It occurs randomly on some leaves, and it is not carried forward. This applies to Neofinetia falcata.

In the DC area, there is a widely distributed Paph insigne with random variegation. This is due to the plant being a chimaera. Woodstream Orchids has tried selfing a flower on a variegated growth in an attempt to stabilize the variegation. They have flasks in the lab, so in 4-6 years we should know more.

Color Forms
These mutations are natural, and there are two basic forms, both of which are genetically recessive:

Flava/Flavum
When anthocyanins are suppressed, you get a yellow flower.

Alba/Album
When both anthocyanins and carotenoids are suppressed, you are left with chlorophyll, so you get green & white flowers.

Both mutations tend to be in smaller growing & smaller flowered plants. These recessive traits might be more common than we know. Breeders tend to use the largest and most robust plants, which are less likely to have the recessive flava/flavum or alba/album genes.

Also, these traits are not necessarily compatible. I bought some Laelia (now Cattleya) tenebrosa, var flava x var alba. However, they bloomed with standard colored flowers.

If I selfed one of those, we would get a mix of standards, albas & flavas, but not intermediate alba/flavas, as we now know that these are incompatible.

Likewise, my Ascfn Cherry Blossom (Asctm ampullaceum var album x Neo falcata) bloomed with all pink flowers. This tells us that the Neo with white flowers is not an alba, since it suppressed the recessive album ampullaceum.

If I were to self that plant, in the next generation we would get some white flowers (1/4, 1/16 or less, depending upon how many alleles are involved).
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  #7  
Old 04-07-2017, 07:12 PM
Salixx Salixx is offline
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As already said, I suspect all or at least many of these mutations occur naturally and that is likely how they have been bred into captive orchids. However, much like many other things we humans get our hands on, these orchids are subjected to artificial selection and thus we help the traits along, whether or not they would otherwise be deleterious to the organism. In that way, you might consider them beneficial - they get the plants bred and thus increase their fitness under these circumstances.

Under more natural circumstances, however, unfavorable traits would be selected against and suppressed within the population or wiped out. Less harmful traits or those with occasional beneficial circumstances may persist at low levels throughout the population. For instances, there may be times where variegated foliage could protect against a sudden increase in sun exposure, say, for instance, a tree falls and opens up the canopy. A population completely dominated by green-leafed orchids but with low occurrences of variegation may see in an increase in variegation because that trait has suddenly become more favorable as it helps protect against leaf-burn from increased sun exposure. Less leaf burn equals less stress which in turn equals higher seed production (higher fitness) and an increased representation in the population of the genes that make up variegation. This can even go back the other way once the canopy closes up again and variegated plants do not produce as much energy as green plants and thus see a drop in fitness.

(not orchids, but fascinating topic on this is the Grants' research on the Galapagos finches and, also, the persistence of sickle-cell anemia in areas with high incidents of malaria)

As for petal shape, that may be more complicated as it involves co-evolution with other organisms. However, mutations that make flowers more appealing to pollinators or increases the range of pollinating species would, hypothetically, produce more seed. Who knows, given a million years of evolution, peloric flowers maybe become the norm in some populations or even species?

As a final thought, some mutations may not be passed on to offspring simply because they do not occur in the sex cells. This may or may not explain why some mutated orchids have normal offspring.
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Old 04-07-2017, 07:56 PM
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I think I have my answer about occurrences in nature from MrHappyRotter (it depends!).

Now onto the taxonomy/nomenclature question:

As it stands now (because splitters and clumpers have their moments), if they occur consistently in nature, are they subspecies/varieties (I read somewhere they are synonyms)? Do the powers-that-be even make distinctions?

And cultivars occur spontaneously in culture or are specifically cultivated?

I get that mutations are factors in evolution (good or detrimental for survival) but I was after the the classification clarification.
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:32 PM
Salixx Salixx is offline
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I've not studied orchids, let me say that. I can only really comment on general trends in nomenclature.

But, as generalizations go, subspecies are distinct populations with enough differences from the main species (or other subspecies) and some kind of isolation, usually geographical (though it also can be behaviorial), so as to make them distinct. Generally, the thought is that over a long enough time frame and with enough isolation, they will become their own, distinct species. The plants you mentioned in your first post are not subspecies. Subspecies are denoted after the species epithet, I.e. domestic dogs are considered, at least for now, to be part of the species of wolf, Canis lupus . The full scientific name for dogs is Canis lupus familiaris, while the type species is Canis lupus lupus (the European wolf). I do suspect there may be different variants due to morphology. Whether or not they interbreed or are geographically isolated from one another is another question.

Synonyms are scientific names that a species previously went by but are no longer considered the accepted name by the scientific community, disagreements between lumpers a splitters aside. Often, synonyms are listed to make research easier. Most often changes in scientific names occur due to DNA evidence since original grouping was done mostly through phylogenetic (visible) characteristics prior to DNA mapping.

As for cultivars, I can't speak with any real authority, but I get the feeling that, for many of them, they are somewhat random but exceptional outcomes of a particular hybrid or species. My feeling is that cultivars are not replicable through breeding, only cloning... maybe some else can correct me?

Others, like with Neos, I feel like they are more akin to breeds of dogs. There's variation, but a golden retriever is still a golden retriever (and the result of careful breeding to make a breed of dog). I actually don't know, so hopefully someone else will know. You've got me thinking - do ANY cultivars breed true?

Last edited by Salixx; 04-07-2017 at 09:35 PM..
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Old 04-07-2017, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salixx View Post
I've not studied orchids, let me say that. I can only really comment on general trends in nomenclature.

But, as generalizations go, subspecies are distinct populations with enough differences from the main species (or other subspecies) and some kind of isolation, usually geographical (though it also can be behaviorial), so as to make them distinct. Generally, the thought is that over a long enough time frame and with enough isolation, they will become their own, distinct species. The plants you mentioned in your first post are not subspecies. Subspecies are denoted after the species epithet, I.e. domestic dogs are considered, at least for now, to be part of the species of wolf, Canis lupus . The full scientific name for dogs is Canis lupus familiaris, while the type species is Canis lupus lupus (the European wolf). I do suspect there may be different variants due to morphology. Whether or not they interbreed or are geographically isolated from one another is another question.

Synonyms are scientific names that a species previously went by but are no longer considered the accepted name by the scientific community, disagreements between lumpers a splitters aside. Often, synonyms are listed to make research easier. Most often changes in scientific names occur due to DNA evidence since original grouping was done mostly through phylogenetic (visible) characteristics prior to DNA mapping.

As for cultivars, I can't speak with any real authority, but I get the feeling that, for many of them, they are somewhat random but exceptional outcomes of a particular hybrid or species. My feeling is that cultivars are not replicable through breeding, only cloning... maybe some else can correct me?

Others, like with Neos, I feel like they are more akin to breeds of dogs. There's variation, but a golden retriever is still a golden retriever (and the result of careful breeding to make a breed of dog). I actually don't know, so hopefully someone else will know. You've got me thinking - do ANY cultivars breed true?
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" M. Sandel
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