IAS Aroid Quasi Forum

About Aroid-L
 This is a continuously updated archive of the Aroid-L mailing list in a forum format - not an actual Forum. If you want to post, you will still need to register for the Aroid-L mailing list and send your postings by e-mail for moderation in the normal way.

  [Aroid-l] Forms of ZZ plant -thanks + a tissue culture question
From: epiphyte1 at earthlink.net (Adam Black) on 2007.10.26 at 04:20:03(16612)
I've been busy and haven't had a chance to respond, but wanted to give a
very belated thank you to all who posted on and off list to my inquiry
several weeks back about whether or not the several forms Zamioculcas
floating around were one or more species. And thanks especially to
Julius for clariflying that they are all simply one species and bringing
up the interesting fact that the "mainstream" form originated from a
spontaneous variation/mutation/freak resulting from the tissue culturing
process. Are there other tissue cultured aroids out there that are
noticably different than their wild counterparts?

My wife used to work for a biotech company doing tissue culture on
Pelargoniums, and when experimenting with various hormones
and stuff she was able to reliably create some very interesting things
that would surely be of interest to the horticultural world, yet the
artificial creation of new mutants was far from the focus of the
company's business plan and were merely byproducts that were sacrificed.
Seeing some of the Alocasias, etc that are available mainly
due to tissue culture, I wonder how many are actually noticably
different than the wild form? Have tissue cultured Amorph. titanum been
around long enough to see if there is any difference from a
seed-grown plant in respect to size, growth rate, flowering, etc? It
appears that all the micropropagated Venus' fly traps available today
seem to be dwarfed in comparison to wild flytraps.

I am in no way trying to bash the tissue culturing of plants, as I know
that some plants would probably not be around let alone available to
collectors if it weren't for this method of propagation. However, going
back to the topic of the different forms of Z. zamioculcas, I now value
my "wild form" of this species much more, knowing that the "artifical
form" will always dominate if not smother the wild type out of the
horticultural trade. It's good to know what they actually look like in
the wild, and to preserve this in cultivation. But then of course, many
species well established in cultivation (not in tissue culture) are
selections from wild plant populations with emphasised characteristics
(showiness, shape, size, fragrance, edibility, hardiness, etc) and are
also far removed from what might be considered the "typical" wild form
likely to be seen over the majority of the plant's range. Can
mutations/variations that pop up in tissue culture be considered
comparable to mutations that randomly occur in the wild - Artifically
induced freaks vs. freaks of nature.

Adam Black

Note: this is a very old post, so no reply function is available.