James Waddick
Tue, 04 Mar 2003 06:02:22 PST
>Jane McGary wrote: I've also
>noticed that two nurseries in this region that specialize in variegated
>plants (Collectors and Terra Nova) frequently find variegated forms of
>other plants arising in their collections; can these be the result of
>viruses jumping from the variegated plants to other species and genera?

Dear Jane especially;
	I am really shocked that you would believe that variegation 
in plants is due to virus. Really.

	Oxford University indexed hundreds of variegated plants and 
found that over 90% were due to somatic mutations (chimeral mutants) 
and less than 5 % were not determined or viral. Viral plants are 
mostly ill and do not grow well or survive for long. Their 
discoloration is a symptom of sickness; the kinds of streaks and 
spots that we can find in sick bulbs and plants of all kind.

	The fact that the good folks at Terra Nova and Collector's 
"find" variegated plants is because they book look very hard for it 
and these mutants often show up in tissue culture. Nurseries do not 
sell viral/sick plants.

	This information is not new or startling, but has been 
published over and over again. Variegation is not a sickness. It is a 
genetic characteristic that often allows some variegated plants to be 
propagated by seed and always by traditional vegetative propagation. 
Chimeral variegation does not (never) 'jump' from one plant to 

	I hate to see this misinformation passed along so easily 
without a strong "whoa'! It just ain't so!!

	Don't mean to jump on Jane, but there is a large body of 
people who think that variegation equals sickness: NOT SO; virus 
equals sickness.

	Best		Jim W.
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
E-fax  419-781-8594

Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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