Neofinetia Hisui and Other Green Flowered Neos
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  #1  
Old 09-10-2018, 11:43 PM
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Shoreguy Shoreguy is offline
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Default Neofinetia Hisui and Other Green Flowered Neos

Is it possible that N Hisui (and/or other green flowered Neos) are the result of hybrid swarms, populations of plants found in the wild which emanated perhaps thousands of years ago from a chance pollination by an insect between a Neofinetia and another species. Followed by successive cross pollination back and forth between that plant and its siblings and parents and over thousands of years eventually resulting in a large population of homogenous plants, a hybrid swarm?

Has this been investigated using DNA analysis? If it resulted from such, would that still qualify it as being a true species due to its existence over thousands of years within nature, with no human intervention? Or would it still be considered a hybrid now and only be registered because its past was not known at the time of registration?

Last edited by Shoreguy; 09-11-2018 at 10:46 AM..
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2018, 12:47 PM
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Hakumin Hakumin is offline
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Neofinetia Hisui and Other Green Flowered Neos Male
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoreguy View Post
Is it possible that N Hisui (and/or other green flowered Neos) are the result of hybrid swarms, populations of plants found in the wild which emanated perhaps thousands of years ago from a chance pollination by an insect between a Neofinetia and another species. Followed by successive cross pollination back and forth between that plant and its siblings and parents and over thousands of years eventually resulting in a large population of homogenous plants, a hybrid swarm?
While theoretically not impossible, it would be unlikely, because other species that create green flowered Neo hybrids (such as Vanda vietnamica) do not have ranges that overlap in the wild with Neos, especially not the range where Hisui was found.

Also, there was never a large homogenous wild population of Hisui. The origin of Hisui was as a single clonal clump found in the wild in Kochi Prefecture (Shikoku Island), in the 1980s.

The other famous wild found green flower neo is Kishu Ryokufu, and that was found in Wakayama prefecture (Honshu)

Most of the rest were created by breeding programs using those two.

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Has this been investigated using DNA analysis?
There has been no foundational research done on the DNA of Neos beyond the basics for the species as a whole. To be able to determine hybrid lineages, especially in plants that have been backcrossed multiple times, there needs to be a database of the genotype of known pure neos from different locales, a database of the genotype of the variety in question (in this case, Hisui), and a database of multiple specimens of all the potential species that the hybrid could have been made with. There is really no commercial value to doing such research which would cost tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, as well as decades to do the sequencing.

The reason human DNA testing has become so cheap and easy lately is because there have been decades of research and billions of dollars put into create the foundational structure and databases.

Likewise, there are certain plants whose genotypes have been extensively sequenced (arabidopsis, corn, rice, etc). It has been done for arabidopsis because it is considered a model organism which is used for a huge range of scientific research. Otherwise this type of research is limited to crop plants that have an impact on the global economy.

The infrastructure is simply not there for the sequencing of Neo genes for extensive testing. However, it is not currently impossible to do one off comparisons. For example, you could hire a lab to do a comparison between two specific plants. However, it would take years to do that sequencing and comparison for just those two plants, and the likelihood of reaching this sort of conclusion from just those two is nil.

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Originally Posted by Shoreguy View Post
If it resulted from such, would that still qualify it as being a true species due to its existence over thousands of years within nature, with no human intervention? Or would it still be considered a hybrid now and only be registered because its past was not known at the time of registration?
Now if there was a wild population of hybrid plants created through the natural spontaneous hybridization of a neo with another orchid, even if extensively backcrossed back to Neo, those would taxonomically be considered different plants and not equivalent to a pure neo.

If that kind of plant were to exist, and it had been previously registered under the assumption that it was a pure neo, which was later discovered to be untrue, the questions left to answer would be whether that plant would be allowed to remain registered and whether the rules of registration would need to be changed.

My thought is that humans have long created a division between human intervention vs natural creation even when the result is the same. Natural, mined gemstones hold more value than lab created synthetic gemstones of the exact same chemical makeup and better visible qualities. In the world of plants, natural hybrids are treated differently in horticultural nomenclature than human created hybrids.

If technology gets to a point where we could get a quick DNA analysis and comparison of various plants, and we find that there are some registered plants that have been found to be originally hybrids, I think that split between human created vs natural hybrids may come into play. If the origin was found to be natural, I would suspect that it would be allowed to remain registered. If the origin could be traced back to a a human made hybrid that was fraudulently registered, I would say that it would be removed from registration.

Of course none of that can actually be determined right now, so any conclusions about what would happen are simply conjecture. There are no existing guidelines as to what to do in this case because it is simply not something that will happen in the foreseeable future. It's something to be dealt with if and when the case arises.

For now, though, the purity of a Neo is determined by the registration committee by analyzing the visible characteristics and the recorded history of the variety to the best of their ability. It is not a perfect system, and there certainly are some doubts about the purity of certain varieties floating around. For us as hobbyists, it is best to simply be aware of the possibilities and keep an open mind.
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Last edited by Hakumin; 09-11-2018 at 01:07 PM..
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Likes Shoreguy, u bada liked this post
  #3  
Old 09-11-2018, 12:57 PM
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Shoreguy Shoreguy is offline
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Thank you Hakumin. I will need to read this several more times to absorb it all.
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