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Terminology question

Discussion in 'Everything Else Orchid' started by Kipper, Nov 5, 2016.

  1. Kipper

    Kipper CoffeeCoffeeCoffee... Supporting Member

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    Hi guys, I am confused by a couple of terms that people use to describe various orchids. One is clone. I thought that a clone was always a plant that was produced by meristem culture, but have seen several people use the term for plants that were seed grown. Also the term 'alba'. I have seen some albas that do have color on the lip but then I have also had people tell me that would be a 'semi-alba' and that albas are truly without coloration. Anyone know for sure?
     
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  2. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Kipper, I share your confusion over the term "clone". It seems to be a widely misused term and you are correct that it should not be used for seed grown plants and only for plants that are truly cloned via tissue culture. I think "cultivar" is a far more appropriate term to use. I think many of the mass produced Phalaenopsis probably are truly clones.

    I can't help with alba and semi-alba since I am as uncertain of their correct usage as you are. Also, some "alba" flowers are yellow and seems like they should be designated as xanthic. Personally, I like bright colors and haven't fretted over this too much :).
     
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  3. Kipper

    Kipper CoffeeCoffeeCoffee... Supporting Member

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    Hi Kelly, I have a friend who raises parakeets and with them there are two terms they use for the "colorless" forms. albino is a colorless form of a blue bird and lutino is the colorless form of a green bird which is not really colorless but yellow. I have several 'flava' varieties and assumed that it would be the orchid equivalent of lutino. Haven't heard xanthic yet but I like it...
     
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  4. carl

    carl Active Member

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    My understanding of "clone" as applied to a plant is that it is genetically identical to another plant - thus plants propagated by division are clones, as are those propagated by meristematic tissue culture techniques.

    Similarly, alba is a plant that normally would make colored flowers that has had a genetic mishap and so doesn't make the pigment anymore. Semi-alba would be one that only makes color in the lip.

    I could easily be wrong, and often am. Just ask my son.
     
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  5. DPfarr

    DPfarr Well-Known Member

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    Alba is with red pigment, inclusive of purple etc. Therefore, an alba Cattleya perciviliana will be white with a yellow lip. Whereas a semi alba Cattleya walkeriana will be white with the purple with yellow lip.

    Let me know if you want to know about the varieties of intermedia or purpurata!
     
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  6. spiro K.

    spiro K. Active Member

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    I am probably wrong, but I've always used the noun clone as to mean an individual (plant), that presumably is(or can make)[ a]division , and is different from other plants of its species.
    The verb to clone is another matter,it means to make an identical copy (by asexual division).
    I don't think the term is limited only to laboratory cloned plants.
     
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  7. DPfarr

    DPfarr Well-Known Member

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    I concur that clone could be a laboratory clone or a botanical clone. By convention, if I asked what clone of Paph rothschildiana was nicest you would still give the clonal name of your favorite FCC.
     
  8. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    Here's another "I could be wrong, but" comments... your definition is actually closer to "variety" - is notably different to others, and "breeds true," i.e., its offspring retain the noted properties when selfies or bred from others of the same variety.

    That differs from "cultivar," or "cultivated variety," which indicates a plant being different from its siblings due to the typical distribution of genetics.

    Clone indicates identical genetics, and will apply to any asexual copy, whether by division, or replication of meristematic tissues.
     
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  9. Kipper

    Kipper CoffeeCoffeeCoffee... Supporting Member

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    In other words, what I'm getting is that a species such as Dend. cuthbertsonii can show a major variation even in the same group of seedlings from the same capsule due to the mixing of genes. If a plant is a clone however, it must show exact genetic makeup and therefore must be propagated in some asexual fashion. Meristem, division, etc. Anything else would be a variety or form of that species.
     
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  10. spiro K.

    spiro K. Active Member

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    More accurately ( I think), any other plant from the same seedpod would be a different clone.
    No two plants from the same pod are completely identical.
    A variety is a group of plants (of different clones), that exhibit a consistent set of variations/differences from the typical / usual variety.
     
  11. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sorry Spiro, but I have to disagree. A seedling (actually grown from seed) would never correctly be called a clone because it isn't an exact copy of another plant. A clone must be an exact replica of another plant (or animal) and so the only way to achieve that is through asexual reproduction. A plant grown from seed may look similar or different from the parent plants but is never (or at least very unlikely) identical. I agree that your description is the common usage of the word "clone" among hobbyist growers.

    I'm not trying to change the vernacular of orchid growers but I do think it is important for people to understand what a real clone is. Or, maybe I'm wrong :D
     
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  12. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    With regard to Spiro's, if the person means that particular individual, then it is a clone. So you can say that this particular clone of P. rothschildianum 'Rex' seems to have a smaller flower size than other clones (of 'Rex'). But the terminology is frequently missused in the following case. You can't say the clone, P. rothschildianum 'Rex', has smaller flowers than modern clones. The correct term in this case is a "genet", which is the group of genetically identical clones, since the person is making a general statement about 'Rex' in general. But we understand what the person means even though it is not strictly correct. The alternative biological word for a clone is a "ramet".
    I saw a related article posted here:
    http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/58427-definition-of-the-terms-clone-clonotype/

    The official names for the forms need to be described and published. They don't have to call them f. alba or f. album for the whiter/greener forms. A lot of the times, f. semi-alba etc. is just what hobbyists use to communicate the color (without the publication of the description), so there are quite a bit of arbitrariness. Here is a related thread: http://www.slippertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39778
     
  13. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    When Dolly the sheep was cloned she was identical (a clone of) to her mother. When a woman has a baby the child isn't a clone but is a unique individual. The same definition applies to botany.

    I'm not trying to change anyones use of the word, really, but I think the word 'clone' has come to mean a plant that looks different from that other plant the same as a carbonated soft drink is a Coke, a tissue is a Kleenex, a cotton swab is a Q-Tip, or a hot tub is a Jacuzzi. They are all accepted words/terms but not always technically correct (at least in my humble opinion :rolleyes:).

    Kipper, see what you stirred up :D:D:D. I have to admit that I have come close to posting this same question many times but had decided to let sleeping dogs lie.
     
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  14. carl

    carl Active Member

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    Taxonomy and Terminology are related, and both are contact sports.
     
  15. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    I agree that the misuse of 'clone' isn't too bad, but the other more annoying misuse of terminology is sib-crossing. Siblings are the kids who shares at least one of the parent. But some people use sib-cross instead of outcross when they are crossing the conspecific individuals. Full-sib crossing means crossing 2 individuals which share 2 parents. Half-sib crossing means crossing 2 individuals which share only 1 parent. So D and E are kids of A x B cross, and F is a kid of B x C. Then the full sib crossing is D x E, and half sib crossing is D x F. Genetically, there is a BIG difference between sib-cross vs outcross. There are different degrees of inbreeding (e.g. crossing between two individuals which share a grand-grand parent etc) within outcrossing, but it shouldn't be called sib crossing. I personally prefer sib-crossing or self-fertilizing to preserve the regional variation.
     
  16. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Haha, but taxonomy seems to be more democratic! Each person brings out the data, evidence, and logic. Then each person judges who is right, and then the consensus can be reached at some point. Each person doesn't have the same voting power, but there is nothing wrong with going with what you decide! But there are always arbitrariness because it is basically for the convenience of communication.
     
  17. Kipper

    Kipper CoffeeCoffeeCoffee... Supporting Member

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    I'm not usually such a trouble maker!

    LOL....
     
  18. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Whew ... I was afraid I was going to get yelled at :D
     
  19. DPfarr

    DPfarr Well-Known Member

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    Let us not forget in flask proliferation in respect to clones.
     
  20. DanielG

    DanielG New Member

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    Clone refers to identical genetics, not phenotype. Depending on culture, genetically identical individuals (clones) may look different. Not sure how wide-spread that is in orchids. I just have one example, where a Bulbo roxburghii has lots of long roots hanging in the air in moist-warm terrarium, but in intermediate-drier GH the roots are all attached to the cork slab. Those are divisions from a single plant, so presumably clones. This is under the heading of genotype x environment interaction.
     
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