Monday, May 20, 2013

Genetic Mutations

When hybridizing, it's inevitable to run into something not quite right. Especially dealing with yellows. African violets aren't supposed to be yellow. It's not really in their genes. Those that do bloom yellow flowers are doing so because they are freaks.

Anyways I got some really, really strange and ugly out of the Ness Fantasy Gold cross with Rhapsodie Stephanie.

Two of the uglies that take the cake:

and saving the better of them for last:


What's going on?????!!!!

Homeotic Mutation. It's actually kinda interesting. There's a lot of scientific articles based on the phenomenon. That one is just one. (it looks like "type 1" aka 'macho' in their diagram, but I'm not going to say for sure.) A genetic defect is causing some (or many) of the flowers to produce anthers instead of normal petals. Oh and some of those Anther petals DO produce some pollen. Not as much as the center ones do, but still pollen from what should be a petal seems awkward at best.

I keep this one for now, but it's not a priority. Rather I want to donate it to the University of MN extension office if they want a plant to study for this kind of mutation.  The other one went to a local AV club member.

Fortunately NOT all of the seedlings from this cross show this mutation so strongly. it seems variable. It also makes me wonder if the yellow in the anther is in fact the clue to how yellow violets came to be.


  1. D12 wasn't that ugly, the more symmetric flowers look a bit like tiny roses.

    1. That was on some of its nicer cycles. On its worst, it wouldn't produce petals at all or only produce some petals.

      I had another big loss around the winter-summer of 2016-2017. I don't know if D12 survived or kept its label. (I had a lot of crown rot issues.)

  2. I've never seen yellow Violet's before.

    1. So far the brightest yellow I've seen in person is Harmony's Cotton Candy. It is a light purple/ lilac with yellow streaks/ patches. Depending on the bloom cycle some streaks actually look yellow and not a pale greenish cream shade I typically see. The flowers also tend to have a decent shape too. My problem is lack of space to do more hybridizing.