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  Hybrids
From: "Eduardo Goncalves" edggon at hotmail.com> on 2000.04.27 at 20:11:29(4460)
Dear Aroiders,

There is no problem in hybridize plants. They do it all the time in
nature! The main problem is that they don't tell us. We, the taxonomists,
are always trying to explain the diversity like we were living in a
completely Darwinist world. Reticulation (a beautiful name for the
promiscuity in plants) is a real thing. Even without curious hybrid-nuts,
plant taxonomy would be already in a mess because of free love in nature.
People just make it faster!

Cheers,
Eduardo.

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From: Neil Carroll zzamia at hargray.com> on 2000.04.28 at 17:37:02(4461)
Reticulation (a beautiful name for the
> promiscuity in plants) is a real thing
> Cheers,
> Eduardo.
>
> P.S. Believe me, I am a plant taxonomist too!
>
> >
I have never heard the word reticulation used in conjunction with sex. I
thought it meant 'net viened'.

Neil

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From: "Bjoern Malkmus" bjoern.malkmus at verwaltung.uni-mainz.de> on 2000.04.28 at 17:38:50(4463)
Eduardo and all Aroiders,

certainly mother nature admits natural hybrids in the course of
evolution to create new plants which will adopt to a (new) niche, to
substitute less vigorous species, or to climatical etc. changes and
so on.
BUT I doubted that an A. titanum will ever have the chance to cross
with an A. konjac for example, or even two species growing in the
same habitat but with different flowering times.

In my opinion "artificial" (=human made) hybridization is simply
against nature. However I have it clear, that on even crossing two
clones from a single species in cultivation the result might be called
artificial ...

Just don' t see a point why human beings should "improve" plants in
only few years what nature has developed in millions of years ... I
enjoy nature the way it is and so hopefully my children will have the
opportunity ...

To all a nice weekend,

Bj?rn Malkmus

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From: StroWi at t-online.de (StroWi) on 2000.04.28 at 17:40:49(4465)
Dear Aroiders,

plant taxonomists especially, I wonder if anyone ever tried to use molecular
methods like DNA-fingerprints/ - markers to examine the genetic
relationship or
distance between Amorphophalli species. It could be also a tool to identify
hybrids.

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From: "Scott Lucas" htbg at ilhawaii.net> on 2000.04.28 at 17:56:38(4469)
Quickly...

Per Webster:

of, relating to, or constituting evolutionary change on genetic

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From: Neil Carroll zzamia at hargray.com> on 2000.04.28 at 20:54:24(4472)
>
> Just don' t see a point why human beings should "improve" plants in
> only few years what nature has developed in millions of years ... I
> enjoy nature the way it is and so hopefully my children will have the
> opportunity ...
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From: Don Martinson llmen at execpc.com> on 2000.04.28 at 22:42:59(4473)
>Reticulation (a beautiful name for the
>> promiscuity in plants) is a real thing
>> Cheers,
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From: Betsytrips at aol.com on 2000.04.29 at 11:07:30(4476)
In a message dated 4/28/00 10:54:37 PM Central Daylight Time,
zzamia@hargray.com writes:

<< The recombination of genes happens in the course of nature.....I don't

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From: StroWi at t-online.de (StroWi) on 2000.04.30 at 08:12:56(4480)
Dear Scott, dear Wilbert,

thanks for replying.

Scott,
Would you have further bibliogragical information (Journal, Year etc.)?
Thanks, Bernhard.

Wilbert,
Would you a name and an (email-) adress of the Leiden student working on
molecular level on Amorphophallus species?
Thanks, Bernhard.

Scott Lucas schrieb:

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From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2000.04.30 at 11:29:04(4484)
To All Friends,

My little bit of input into this--no one has as yet touched deeply on Mother
Nature`s strategies for PREVENTING hybrids, this is what interests me,
and investigations on this aspect should be continued. It is obvious that
hybrids are not occurring as 'regularly' as they should be among species
that occur naturally and in close proximity to each other in nature, and
that there are STRONG barriers that prevent this, such as different pollen
structure/size (as in Xanthosoma/Caladium/Chlorospatha), with the unanswered
question of pollenators thrown into this mix for good measure).
As a boy I`ll never forget discussing the 'why' of orchid hybrids with one
of my early mentors, Dr Jack Price, a Canadian who 'went native' and lived
in a shack near to a river in the hills, hand-to-mouth at times, working at
the Virus Lab at
others. He grew some orchids, and the genus Catasetum was one I liked.
On Trinidad we have two species, C. macrocarpum and C. barbatum, hybrids of
these have not been found in the wild state, but a simple hand pollination
will result in a seed pod with viable seed, and Jack had
grown some hybrid seed in flasks, the offspring as expected were 1/2 way
between the parents.
Then another Catasetum researcher arrived, and I was helping him find these
two
species growing in the wild, when I asked how come they do not cross in
nature.
With a smug smile he took two small bottles of liquid from his back pack,
then pinned two small squares of blotting paper only feet apart on
neighboring trees. He applied a drop of liquid on each square from each
bottle. In seconds there were groups of small stingless bees around the
squares, but it was quite clear that the two groups of bees were of
different colors and differed slightly in size!! The liquid was artificial
lab-produced
scent of each of the two species, and he was investigating the artificial
production of orchid scents in the Lab. What he had put out was the
lab-produced scents
of the two Catasetum sps in question, and the bees were specifically
attracted
ONLY to the scent of that specific orchid! NO hybrids of those in the
wild!
Now I know this does not always hold true, that obvious hybrids are
sometimes and rarely found in the wild, the obvious one in Trinidad is the
very rare orchid Oncidium 'haematocyllum' (spelling?) a plant that was
initially
described as a species, but turned out to be a naturally occurring hybrid
between our 'Cedros bee' and the 'brown bee' orchids.
In aroids we need to study the pollinators and scents that PREVENT the
crossing of species that occur close together, such as Amorphophallus, this
may lead to a better understanding of the species concept. In Urospatha,
the scents of plants that I grew differed from each other, and though all
were or seemed 'fruity'. One from the Orinoco Delta smelt of slightly
'off/old' fruit salad, while
the one from Costa Rica smelt of cantaloupe or the old dried skins/remains
of mangoes. These were easily 'crossed' with a little help of a wet brush
and a
helping hand, and the offspring were 1/2 way between 'mum' and 'dad'. I
would
love a field researcher to investigate the species/groups of this genus that
may occur close together in nature, and check the scents they produce and
the pollinators involved which keep them apart, and recognizable as
different species, the same in the genus Dracontium, where several species
occur together, some with tall petioles and wide open spathes, others with
close-to-the-ground, partially closed spathes. Some smell of OLD rotten
meat, others of just newer, just slightly 'off' meat, others smell of fish,
etc., which we could speculate attract different pollinators, meat wasps to
some, blow flies to others, etc..

Just one more piece of the giant jig-saw puzzle of life.

Cheers and good growing,

Julius

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From: "Eduardo Goncalves" edggon at hotmail.com> on 2000.04.30 at 17:29:59(4490)
Dear all,

After Wilbert's "5-printed-pages" message, I don't have much to add. I
just have some VERY personal opinions:

1. Hybridisation is mostly for fun, aesthetics (I usually hate hybrids, but
people use to like it) and, obviously, for commercial purpouses. If you want
to study plants, look for them in the wild!

2. To keep a good source for hybridisation experiments is a good excuse for
preserve natural "species". Why not use it? When you visit a tropical
country, and see how fast "we" are destroying our natural resources, you
would understand that all potential useful strategy are pretty welcome.

3. Most hybrids are aberrants and wouldn't survive in the wild, because
pollinators, dispersors and other important parts of their life history
wouldn't recognize those weird plants. Whatever, hybrids are usually
delighted very far from the origin of the used species. Anthurium hybrids in
Holland or Florida won't spread around there and "compete" with natural
species. Fortunately, the "hybrids nuts" are usually very far from the
natural "source species"! Nobody wants to make hybrids of Peltandra,
Orontium, Lysichiton, Calla (the true) or Symplocarpus!

4. Reticulation is a term we use to define the crossing of two different
"species" (whatever it means), following by the stabilisation of the genome
(usually by polyploidy). If you try to wonder the species arising (in an
evolutive sense) like branches of a tree, reticulation is when two branches
fuse in only one. That's why it is called "reticulation". The tree would
look like a net of branches. At a first glance, we just can't define if a
quoted species is a product of reticulation or if it evolved like Darwin
showed us. And it is possible that such phenomenon is much more common than
we thought before. But Wilbert was very correct in his comment: We don't
need this information to recognize "species", unless we change our
morpho-anatomical concept for a molecular-statistical approach. I think it
would take some time to occur (not much) and certainly will cause much more
pain!

5. I agree with Bjoern that artificial hybrids are against nature. But, in
my opinion, civilization is against nature! You just can't stop it...

6. If you love natural species, instead of cry against hybrids, try to use
your romantic strength to fight against destruction of natural landscapes.
Remember that the main diversity of aroids are not at the European or
American greenhouses, but in the forests, marshes and savannas here in
Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Central America, Southeastern
Asia and tropical Africa, as well as many other places. They are
dissappearing fast. And it is not a problem of those countries exclusively,
because some things are unique and all mankind will lose them. A good
example is Gearum. The occurrence of Gearum seems to be somewhat restricted
and during the last two years, the whole region is becoming a huge soybean
plantation. Since we don't eat soybean at a regular basis in Brazil, those
plantations are for exportation to the richer countries. See, we can't
preserve it by ourselves, because it depends on other countries. Like
Brazilians say, in these cases the money screams louder! Take a look at the
last Aroideana issue and you will agree that Gearum shouldn't dissapear
forever. No living plant should!

Tenham todos uma boa semana,
(Have a nice week)

Eduardo

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From: Don Martinson llmen at execpc.com> on 2000.04.30 at 19:52:04(4493)
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Neil Carroll To All Friends,
>
>My little bit of input into this--no one has as yet touched deeply on Mother
>Nature`s strategies for PREVENTING hybrids, this is what interests me,

>

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From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2000.05.01 at 16:42:29(4494)
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Neil Carroll To All Friends,
>
>My little bit of input into this--no one has as yet touched deeply on
Mother
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From: moto_do at t-online.de (Thomas Mottl) on 2000.05.01 at 16:45:53(4500)
Only one question to Neil and Wilbert which both wrote that nature is not
perfect.
What is not perfect in Nature?
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From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter at worldonline.nl> on 2000.05.01 at 16:46:53(4501)
Howdee,

Let's see if I can interpolate some silly remarks here for Eduardo.........

> Dear all,
>
> After Wilbert's "5-printed-pages" message, I don't have much to add. I
> just have some VERY personal opinions:
>
> 1. Hybridisation is mostly for fun, aesthetics (I usually hate hybrids,
but

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From: plantnut at macconnect.com (plantnut) on 2000.05.01 at 19:38:39(4505)
Thomas,
You have left yourself wide open for this one.........

Perfect???

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From: plantnut at macconnect.com (plantnut) on 2000.05.01 at 19:39:25(4506)
Regarding civilization.... and cultivation... A friend of mine put it
very well when she said..... "When God invented plants.... K-Mart was
closed and He couldn't get any pots....."

Now you know the reason they grow in the 'wild'.
Dewey

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From: "Jay Vannini" interbnk at infovia.com.gt> on 2000.05.01 at 19:40:10(4507)
Julius:

Excellent observation on the VERY specific tastes of many insects! Now, if
you really want to get into esoteric baits, talk to the tropical butterfly
people...

While wandering around my garden this morning with a cup of coffee I was
tickled to see "mass" aggregations of male Eulaema sp. (cingulata?) on four
or five receptive Anthurium huixtlense spadices (three mature plants). This
was really quite impressive - literally standing room only for many dozens
of these bumble-bee sized velvet black euglossines with shiny gold abdomens.
Curiously, I also have a number of A. armeniense and A. chiapasense that are
also in various stages of flowering right now, and they do not appear to
attract these bees but rather, a sorta nondescript Trigona species.

BTW - I have, on many occasions during the rainy season, observed some type
of nocturnal, "haemophagus-looking" dipteran clearly attracted to the nectar
secreted by my Anthurium andreanum 'Kansako' plants. They appear to be very
engrossed in tubing up nectar when I have put a light on them.

Anyhoots - neat stuff - I suppose this is one of many reasons to grow
tropical plants in the tropics.

Cheerio - Jay

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From: Neil Carroll zzamia at hargray.com> on 2000.05.01 at 19:50:14(4509)
> Only one question to Neil and Wilbert which both wrote that nature is not
> perfect.
> What is not perfect in Nature?
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From: moto_do at t-online.de (Thomas Mottl) on 2000.05.02 at 14:56:14(4510)
May a strange discussion, maybe somewhat philosophical I did not know but
now I feel that I must secrete some thoughts maybe you think some
diarrhoe...
1.) In my opinion there is no perfect plan or master plan or whatever
existing.
2.) In my opinion evolution is a chaotical process with coming and going of
new combinations of genes whatever they produce some with more succes some
with less.
3.) In my opinion the human species is only a part of the evolution and all
what human kind make or will do is than also only a part of the game and
could not be separated.
Because evolution for me means try and error as long till it fits for the
environment where the "game is played". For example Anth. dressleri is
"perfect" in his natural habitat now at the moment untill the environment
changes(affected by whatever).
Or another example. Many species of the Australian fauna where "perfect"
untill humans import rabbits, so the new species is somewhat more perfect
for the Australian environment and as a result all other affected species
which have no place to live will die.
Or the young oak tree without chlorophyll it is not perfect in that
environment but when you do the same maybe in a laboratory it will work and
it lives than it would be perfect. (don?t say it is not natural it is only a
somewhat different environment created by a species which is part of the
nature the same what Ants do when they grow funghi).
Or is a Banana plant not perfect while it did?nt grow on north pole only in
a tropical environment?
And who knows maybe in some million years all plants are without chlorophyll
and grow in some other way when nature made uncountable experiments and one
of them will work and produce as a result a new species which is more
"perfect" and displace the now existing green plants.
That is in my eyes the other problem with evolution and perfectness. Our
lives are to short that we could registrate the evolution of new species, we
only registrate the dying of old species by fast changes of environment(most
affected by human kind). So maybe the game will go on and human kind has
changed the environment so dramtically that it will die itself but is that
the end of evolution? Sure not some million years later we will surely found
thousands of new species and they will be again "perfect" adapt to the
environment existing at that time.
Also now by making hybrids or transgentic lifeforms we are giving the nature
great input for new combinations of genes whatever the results are, nature
will be affected but never destroyed only environment changes.
So for me is every lifeform which lives now at the moment on earth perfect
in its very own way and also in my opinion we haven?t the right to judge
over a lifeform if it is perfect or not. The evolution will make this
decision.
So Dewey is right when he says that he is perfect and it is no joke.
Hope it is somewhat understandable cause as a none native speaker ist is
hard to explain in a foreign language.
Thomas

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From: Neil Carroll zzamia at hargray.com> on 2000.05.02 at 14:57:00(4511)
> While wandering around my garden this morning with a cup of coffee I was
> tickled to see "mass" aggregations of male Eulaema sp. (cingulata?) on
four
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From: SelbyHort at aol.com on 2000.05.02 at 14:58:04(4513)
Neil Carrol wrote about hybrids and I have to say that one of our clones of
Anthurium dressleri, which is a selfing of the clonotype, grows far easier
than the original plant collected from the wild. Sometimes selection via
sibling crosses or selfing of species can provide some additional vigor or
horticultural improvements not known in the parent(s). One does not
necessarily need to resort to hybridizing different species to get
interesting results. It is also true that the hybrids of Anthurium dressleri
are indeed much easier to grow and some of these hybrids are exceptional
clones.

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From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter at worldonline.nl> on 2000.05.02 at 15:00:00(4518)
Thomas,

Iw Neill who said that and I never agreed. My point in this special topic
would be: by what standards do we qualify nature in terms of "perfect" or
not. I don't think I'd know a useful answer to that. Well, aroids are
perfect..........for one. Face it: some look perfect, others are perfectly
boring, some smell perfect, others smell perfectly bad. What more do we
want?

Wilbert

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From: SelbyHort at aol.com on 2000.05.02 at 15:00:16(4519)
Neil makes a good point. Imperfection in nature (as mutations) gives rise to
much of the species diversity that we see. Natural hybridization may do this
as well as drift and other documented paths of evolution.

Donna Atwood

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From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2000.05.03 at 16:54:48(4527)
Dear Jay,

Thanks for the kind words--what you describe is what I miss most of all
while living here, the lack of the tropical jungle insects/contacts.

>Julius:

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From: "Bonaventure W Magrys" magrysbo at shu.edu> on 2000.05.03 at 16:57:33(4530)
Can't put these back in nature with the same sucess. This is not the original
(but it is within variation) characteristic of the species. Reestablishment of
"improved" cultivars may lead to improper growth timing, reduced seed dormancy,
ect... Larger more colorful flowers may also not be as attractive to the
natural
pollinator as they are to the human eye.
Bonaventure

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From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter at worldonline.nl> on 2000.05.03 at 17:33:58(4536)
> May a strange discussion, maybe somewhat philosophical I did not know but
> now I feel that I must secrete some thoughts maybe you think some
> diarrhoe...
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From: "Bonaventure W Magrys" magrysbo at shu.edu> on 2000.05.04 at 19:48:58(4537)
"Perfect" organisms don't evolve. They are so well adapted (to their particular
environment) that they do not change over the ages. Hence "evelutionary
dead-ends" such as the horseshoe crab are more "perfect" than those organisms
that had "gone on" (again a misconception of linear progressive [in human
terms]
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From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter at worldonline.nl> on 2000.05.08 at 18:31:00(4546)
> "Perfect" organisms don't evolve. They are so well adapted (to their
particular
> environment) that they do not change over the ages.

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