James Waddick
Mon, 29 Aug 2011 09:23:13 PDT
Dear Friends,
	The following reply is modified slightly from a 2003 message 
on this list. It has been discussed often yet misinformation and just 
plain ignorance abounds.  Think about it.


	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 anyone, but there is a large body of 
people who think that variegation equals sickness: NOT SO; virus 
equals sickness.

	Best		Jim W.


	Added: Most plant variegates are periclinal chimeras (Look it 
up) composed of distinct layers and bands of different tissues. Some 
of these grow better than others (i.e. often those with more 
chlorophyll). Depending on the specific nature of the anatomy, green 
portions can overtake non-green sections and seem to 'grow out' of 
variegation. Many of these variegates are simply unstable and should 
not be sold or distributed as stable cvs.

	Diseases are spread from plant to plant, genetic variegation 
can not be spread to another plant. Time to think smartly.

Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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