Intergeneric and interspecific hybrids

Fri, 11 Jun 2004 00:37:54 PDT

one must let go of the old-fashioned conception of species.  In the scheme
of evolution, all things are related!  It is this degree of relationship
which allows us to give them designations .

Questioning our definition of "what is a species" was going on even when
Mons. Soulange-Bodin crossed the two Magnolias, but that they were "species"
was not really the question, just our perception of what is a species.  One
must consider that, as the point in history when the concept was created,
immuatability was an important social criteria embedded in many philosophies
and religions.  Today, we realize, as you mentioned, all is not what it
seems.  Species, even genera, can be interfertile.  In the end, species is
just a handle with wich we attempt to hold on.

Species evolve and disappear, much like rivulets after a rainstorm.  Flowing
into and away from each other.  Such is the fluidity of genetics.  The
different races of dogs are a perfect example, as they represent our
selective breeding for traits.  Should these races remain isolated long
enough, they would become species.

Hybrid vigour is an interesting point, as it would tend to point to a
relationship between the parents, which, through being bred together, has
resurfaced.  Exactly what we are seeing probably varies     from combination
to combination, as this is just as often not the case.  With M.
Xsoulangiana, the off-spring are not particularly fertile from my
experience.  Possibly due to the chromosomes not really suiting each other
and dividing poorly during meiosis.

In short, as this can become a long and weary argument, one direction or the
other, our concept of species is being constanly re-designed, as we
understand more of the genetic mechanism.  At the moment, it is not very
satisfactory, but it is all we have.

Interesting area for consideration, isn't it?

Jamie V.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim McKenney" <>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2004 12:20 PM
Subject: Re: [pbs] Intergeneric and interspecific hybrids

> Thank you, John.
> Now, if you don't mind, let me rephrase your original message:
> Wolfhounds are from eastern Europe and have a lanky, slender build, long
> narrow skulls and long, frequently bushy tails. Chihuahuas are from
> are small, have rounded heads with bulgy eyes and short hair. There are
> also other differences between the two species, such as seed [naughty
> suppressed] size. The hybrid between them, the so-called hairless
> has the habit of the Chihuahua but is more slender. If my memory is
> Do you get my point?
> Remember, organisms are not members of the same species because they look
> alike, they look alike because they are members of the same species. And
> other members of that same species may not share the same characteristics.
> Think of Magnolia liliiflora and M. denudata as different ends of the same
> rope, a rope woven of varying materials.
> Jim McKenney
> Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where some people may be
> thinking it's time to rope this guy in.
> _______________________________________________
> pbs mailing list

More information about the pbs mailing list