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  #1  
Unread 07-18-2009, 12:29 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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Default Help me choose a violacea!

Hi, I've decided to buy a blue violacea even though they're prohibitively expensive here in Europe. So I want to get this right. These are my options:

violacea July 4th x Gaston Bleu
violacea Blue Chip x self
violacea Bonnie Blue x Blue Beard

Which are most likely to bloom blue? I'd hate to spend a bunch of money on a magenta.

Thanks
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  #2  
Unread 07-18-2009, 01:07 PM
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It's a crap shoot, they all have the potential to come out magenta.

This is more dependant on the genetics of the individual plant rather than the genetics of the group.

Can you get it in flower? That way you'll know for sure.
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  #3  
Unread 07-18-2009, 01:54 PM
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Unfortunately, not. But what are the chances of getting a magenta, 2:1, 5:1, 10:1? How big a risk would I be taking?
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  #4  
Unread 07-18-2009, 08:00 PM
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The parents of all of those are blue--so you have a pretty good shot of getting blue. I have two plants of Blue July 4th x Gaston Bleu and two of Blue Chip x self -- all four are blue. I think the selfing is slightly deeper blue for both plants. All of those options are good ones, but I'd go for the Blue Chip.
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  #5  
Unread 07-18-2009, 11:21 PM
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Well...

I'm not a geneticist...but there is a geneticist in the Orchid Board, her screen name is orchidbingo, maybe you can PM her for what the odds of getting a magenta versus a blue violacea is.

All I can tell you is that magenta is the dominant gene and blue is the recessive. That's why blues are rare. Then again, you probably already know this.

The problem herein lies in that these are bred for their recessive genes so it could change the odds a bit.
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  #6  
Unread 07-19-2009, 04:20 PM
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Hi everyone,
First a disclaimer-- I'm a fruit fly and mouse geneticist so I know about fly eyecolor and mouse fur color...

That being said I have to agree with Philip that it's mostly a crapshoot.

The blue color acts as a recessive with the magenta as a dominant but unfortunately the flower color is controlled by several genes, environmental cues including the pH of the flower (like hydrangea blues and pinks) and a number of genetic elements that jump around unpredictably each type the plant reproduces sexually; all of these affect the expression of the various flower pigment genes.

As far as I understand things a recessive gene
(flavonoid 3′,5′-hydroxylase gene) is needed to modify the purple anthocyanin pigments into blue. Even when a plant has the appropriate recessive genes the degree to which pigments will shift toward blue depends on other genetic elements called promoters that will either enhance (upregulate) or depress (downregulate) expression of the gene for turning purple to blue. Additionally there are co-pigment genes that either enhance the blue or not. Finally, there are these jumping transposable elements that apparently mess with the expression of genes they jump into.

Thus we're back to Philip's answer that its basically a crap shoot.

I would definitely agree with Magda that the selfing would probably be the best bet since obviously the blue making genes and the correct promoters are in the single plants genetic background. the problem is that everytime you do a cross you are setting free a vast set of opportunities for genetic recombination and variation to occur. Variety is not only the spice of life but it is the necessary material for evolution and thus survival.

So the only sure thing is to buy the plant in bloom or buy a division or mericlone of a known blue. If you have OrchidWiz (I don't) it might be helpful to research all possible plants in the cross parentage/history. The more blue the better.

My apologies if this contribution is more confusing than helpful!

bingo
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