Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cloning Gone Awry

Cattleya skinneri 'Heidi Jacobs' FCC/AOS, Meristem/tissue culture

Cattleya skinneri 'Heidi Jacobs' FCC/AOS, Division from original plant

Supposedly, when you buy a meristem or tissue culture, the offspring should be identical. However, sometimes, when the grower asks the lab to make too many plants from the same tissue division, the genetics may "wander" leading to mutations. Sometimes these mutations are good (bigger, rounder flowers, sturdier plants) and sometimes, as in this case, they are not. You can see that the cloned plant has a nasty tilt/skew to the dorsal sepal and pinched petals which show up on every flower but are not found on the division of the original plant. I can only hope that they got some good ones too.

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