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ello Friends,

Some very interesting things have been going on with Byblis research lately. I gave some original Byblis 'Goliath' seeds to a good friend on 11/28/2008 and we've been working together on those in his TC lab ever since.

With "Goliath's" numbers now in the thousands, what's very surprising is the range of mutations and characteristics that occur within Byblis 'Goliath'. Plants are being produced that show combined traits of at least four of the proposed existing Byblis "species". Various agar combinations produce interesting results. The mutations are truly amazing!

Here's a shot from the lab. Note extreme variation amongst B. 'Goliath' clones;

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Now, let's take a closer look at three plants from the TC trays;

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As seen, some of these plants could easily be mistaken as seperate species, however they consist only of B. 'Goliath' clones, which truly shows the variation possibilities within this remarkable species of plant. But as long as I have the definitive traits of B. 'Goliath' in select clones, I'm good to go. Stay tuned for much more!

Happy Growing,

Brian.

Edited by Drosera5150
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Very interesting!

Seems like the variation observed in this cultivar (and possibly a lot of the variation seen among annual Byblis species) may be a result of differences in expression levels of the same genes. Most people tend to think of different species as having different genes or different alleles, but a lot of it often has to do with WHEN, HOW MUCH, and WHERE (which tissues/ cells) certain genes are expressed.

Thanks,

Fernando Rivadavia

Edited by Fernando Rivadavia
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For me it doesn't look like stable mutation- after some time plants will back to normal growth ;) Too much cytokinins sometimes causes very similar effect on D.madagascarensis. When they were deflasked? After ~0,5 year from deflasking we can tell something about stability of this "mutations " ;) But plants lokk s really interesting!

Regards

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Hello Gentlemen,

Thank you for your comments!

The explants depicted in the last photo are approaching the 7 month mark, in which most genetic mutations are then stabilized.

Also, a vast majority of plants still keep the pulvinic trait that separates Byblis 'Goliath'[filifolia] from the rest of the known Byblis species. Amazingly, cultivative conditions do have an impact on the growth habit of Byblis 'Goliath' but the pulvinic formation is still unchanged. In my experience, different flower shapes and color, anther to filament comparisions, sepal to petal comparisions...all become invalid for naming of separate species within this fine genus, due to the vast differences achieved from different growing conditions 'in situ' and in cultivation. One such documentation can be found here;

http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=33341

Also, some of my previous research involving this plant can be found here in my Byblis Chronicles;

http://www.floridacarnivorousplantsociety....schronicles.htm

Also, feel free to take a look at all the various flower colors and Byblis 'Goliath' mutant forms at my CPTube and Photo Gallery via the link in my signature below.

Happy Spring!

Brian.

Edited by Drosera5150
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Well, there's genetic, and then there's epigenetic....

Epigenetic changes, for example DNA methylation patterns, can change how genes are expressed without changing the actual base sequence of the genes. And epigenetic modifications can occur throughout the lifetime of an organism and can even be transmitted from one generation to the next.

Therefore, what you are seeing may be the result of an epigenetic change. How stable this will be and for how long is not an easy question to answer. If it is epigenetic, it could probably be reversed, given the right environmental stimuli.

And once again this wraps back to the question of what makes a good species. Just because two plants look very different doesn't mean that they have different genes or even different alleles. The observed differences could in theory be due to differentiated gene expression patterns of the same genes, due to different epigenetic modifications to the same DNA.

So if in nature 2 species appear to be stable and separate, and yet when brought into cultivation the characters are not as clearly defined, does that invalidate specific status? And what about selective breeding? If you can breed plants to look very different from what they did in the wild (like humans did with dogs for example), does that invalidate the species? Or are you creating new species?

Best Wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

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Hey Fernando,

Very good points indeed!

However in my opinion, I believe that some species have been named in haste, without the plant being fully observed and studied to it's fullest extent first.

Be it to add another feather to one's cap, gain more international notoriety or for mere profit. Or perhaps a gross combination of the forementioned. The pulvinic anomaly in Byblis is easily discernable, yet no information of it exists in any of it's official species documention, of any of the supposed Byblis species. A slight oversight? I think not. A race to acquire as many species under one's own belt without adequate study first? Quite possibly...

In my opinion, there are many plant and animal species, had they been studied a little more in depth, would have had to simply settle for mere variety or subspecies status. Unfortunately, not nearly as glorifying to say the least to the involved author or botanist. Not to mention, that half of the known species in existence today wouldn't even exist, their species status having been previously busted down to a permanent subspecies, form or variety.

Sadly in every facet of the plant world, including carnivorous plants...new species sell and capture the enthusiast's interest. They're a hot commodity and for a short time burn brightly, although soon fading to the flailing uninteresting standard of a Drosera capillaris.

Best Wishes,

Brian.

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Hey Brian,

I'm not sure why you would think that of Allen Lowrie, considering his history of great (and many) publications -- and the fact that he does not depend on CPs for his welfare (having put a lot more money into studying them than he has gotten out of them).

But either way, like any other scientific paper, a species publication should in no way be viewed as the definitive work. I see such papers more as a mere introduction to a new taxon. If you look at the history of any taxonomic group, you will see that taxonomic change is the norm. Taxa are constantly promoted or demoted from one level to another, moved from one genus/ family to another. So if you're gonna publish something, why not go ahead with a species rank? There is no clear definition of what a species is, and at one point or another it's probably gonna be moved by a botanist to that level anyway.

So why get all perked up about the "true" taxonomic rank that you perceive a plant should have? Isn't it interesting enough to know that in nature there appear to be stable populations presenting a particular group of traits -- and to try to understand why that is so? Does it really matter taxonomically if the oberserved characteristics due to genetic or epigenetic reasons? Does it make a taxon less important if in cultivation you can breed it to look like something else?

Given Allen's scientific track record over the decades, I see no reason why we should not trust the data in his articles and why he would be stupid enough to compromise the name he's made for himself in botany over a few Byblis species. If anyone, he certainly doesn't need to add more species to his already long list, hahaha. Or do you really believe he is so blinded by the BILLIONS he is making selling Byblis seeds? :)

Best wishes,

Fernando

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I gave some original Byblis 'Goliath' seeds to a good friend on 11/28/2008 and we've been working together on those in his TC lab ever since.

Seeds are random combination of genes even they are self pollinated.The resulting plants can look differently from Byblis 'Goliath'.

BTW: i think Byblis are very sensitive plants to growth hormones, so even small residues in the tissue can change the look of the plant even after many months.

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Great, now you're also accusing Allen Lowrie and his subversive CP mafia of being cyber-terrorists?? This is becoming more and more amusing!! :)

Fernando

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Konnichiwa!

Dear sativ-san & Dear Milos Sula-san,
I agree with you in all your views.

Dear Fernando-san,
You made a few excellent replies to this thread.

The 4 plants were taken last year. They were 5 months old after sowing. I did not use any growth control chemicals/hormones. After observing the clones, I believed they were same variation. commonly found and Nothing special. There was only one plant in each pot.
At the same time, I did not believe that the 4 clones maintained "ICPS cultivar's status".
Previously, on cp discussion group I wrote:
1)Advanced uniformity by sexual reproduction.
Usually, reproducing by sexual reproduction loses the cultivar status traits even for an autogamous plant (self-fertilizing plant). The Sweet Pea is an autogamous plant (self-fertilizing plants and also a self-pollinated species). Therefore, we can fix the character in the tenth generation by a careful selection. The clone and progeny plants of the clone are worthy of cultivar status. Maintaining a cultivar's status by sexual reproduction in an allogamous plant clone is almost unsolvable.

After sowing, it took seven months to obtain seeds (more than 10,000 from the 4 clones).
Previously, on cp discussion group I wrote:
2)Improvement of cutting or TC propagation method
I can make Tropical Byblis reproduce by both cuttings and TC propagation. At this moment, cuttings and TC propagations are not appropriate methods for tropical Byblis species. After the international CP conference in 2002, I showed deligates in my greenhouse a tetraploid Byblis filifolia “Pago Giant” clone. This tetraploid “Pago Giant” clone was smaller than a diploid clone. This tetraploid clone was maintained by cuttings.
However, I cannot grow the tropical Byblis into beautiful specimens using cuttings or TC propagation.

Finally,
Accusation without evidence damages the honour of ICPS.

Kind regards from the far east

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photo links changed (same photos): 2014/11/29

Edited by PofW_Feathers
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Hello Brian,

It is one thing to publish a scientific article updating & correcting the known information about a species, and even proposing a change in taxonomic rank based on the new observations.

But it is a totally different case to openly practice mud-slinging on a forum like this, accusing a well-respected botanist of consciously deceiving scientist and cultivators around the world through (supposedly) untruthful publications, with the intent of seeking money and fame. And should I add that you have no proof other than abnormal growth observed in cultivated plants?

I have to agree with Takai-san above. These are very serious (and personal) accusations to be made, especially considering your position in the ICPS. Although your data may be sound and taxonomically worthy, I think you should definitely review your methods on how you make this knowledge public. Stick to the science!

All the best,

Fernando Rivadavia

Edited by Fernando Rivadavia
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Hello Friends,

I agree fully! My apologies for being over-passionate. Botany has been my love since I was a child...

Also I must say Fernando, that you are the only one who mentioned Allen Lowrie's name in regards to the prior posted links I provided.

Also, my research goes way beyond a few cultivated plants in my possession. For years now and thousands of Byblis plants later, it's been my obsession.

I'm currently working with two Universities here in the US, one being here in Florida.

Also, the interesting topic of genetically modified seed shall be addressed as well. Here's a sample article in regards to such;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_use_r...tion_technology

See you in Leiden,

Brian.

Edited by Drosera5150
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello Brian,

No worries, I get very passionate myself sometimes when it comes to CPs! ;) But it does not help our arguments when we do so.

As for Allen's name, omit it if you want, but nobody else has published Byblis species over the past few decades, so there's no doubt who you're referring to above, hehehe! And as for researching Byblis species, you can certainly contribute a lot studying them in cultivation, but a full picture can only be obtained by looking at herbarium specimens and seeing plants in the wild... So don't assume your conclusions are complete without doing so. You may even have to add more data to such a study, such as chromosome numbers, DNA sequencing, pollen morphology, etc. BTW, see in the link below one of Takai-san's amazing B.guehoi specimens:

http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=36043

Regarding "terminator" technology for Byblis seed, that may solve the cultivar status by avoiding F2 plants, but good luck trying to find the funds to do this with such an economically non-important plant!

And back to the differential gene expression in similar species, I just saw this interesting related note on a blog:

"Published online in Genome Research this week, investigators at the University of Connecticut and the University of Michigan report their elucidation of the regulatory divergence in two closely related Drosophila species using deep mRNA sequencing. Between D. melanogaster and D. sechellia, 78 percent of expressed genes have divergent expression, the researchers write. They also found that cis-regulatory differences contributed to more expression divergence and showed more additive inheritance. "Overall, this study illustrates the power of mRNA sequencing for investigating regulatory evolution, provides novel insight into the evolution of gene expression in Drosophila, and reveals general trends that are likely to extend to other species," the authors write."

Best wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia

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