Clonal breakdown

John Bryan
Wed, 22 Nov 2006 12:37:51 PST
Dear Max:

There is so much to learn about plants. The terminology used by some of
us old timers, it was over 60 years ago that I started working with
plants, as an indentured apprentice, that I am afraid names we give to
certain "happenings" in plants may not be the same today as they were
years ago. Clonal breakdown is a case in point. While we know this
happens, just why and how has yet to be determined. Modern methods of
propagation, have allowed new hybrids to be produced which, in times
past, were thought to be impossible. 

As with so many 'treatments' we give to bulbs, we know they work and are
necessary, so many weeks of various temperatures etc., but we do not
know just what happens inside the bulbs and just what chemical changes
take place. With seeds, I have felt and expressed my opinions several
times, I feel there is an electrical, or other means of communication
between the emerging radicle  of the root whose tip is pellucid and
slimy to the touch. Roots higher up radiate in all directions and soil
adheres to these roots while the radicle glides its way through the soil
and the soil does not adhere to it. ( could it have another function?).
A complex root system is governed/controlled by what? In a rye plant, if
all roots and root hairs were joined together they would extend for
thousands of miles, I seem to remember some 6000. 

Thinking more about this, are roots ever chimaeral? Are they the same of
a sport (when it is rooted) as the roots on the sport bearing plant? Who
knows, it seems the longer one works with plants the more questions come
to mind. Keep asking questions, the one thing we know is that nature is
logical. Cheers, John E. Bryan

Max Withers wrote:
> Dear all,
> Please keep up the fascinating discussion of genetics/virus/asexual
> propagation. I am learning a lot.
> I wonder if both "clonal breakdown" and certain symptoms usually
> attributed to "virus" are not the result of an accumulation of
> transposons (and other nucleic hijinks) in the absence of sexual
> reproduction?
> Best,
> Max Withers
> PS: Although turkeys are not yet produced from tissue culture, the
> commercial breeds are incapable of sexual reproduction without human
> intervention. See the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy site:
> > Message: 7
> > Date: Mon, 01 Jan 1990 03:08:44 -0800
> > From: John Bryan <>
> > Subject: [pbs] Clonal breakdown
> > To:
> > Message-ID: <>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> >
> > ....
> > Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving to all I hope your turkeys are tasty, and
> > good eating and would there be clonal breakdown in such birds brought
> > about by inbreeding?
> _______________________________________________
> pbs mailing list

More information about the pbs mailing list