Variegation in Maples

Discussion in 'Maples' started by mendocinomaples, Jul 3, 2006.

  1. mendocinomaples

    mendocinomaples Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I would like to continue the topic of variegation (from the photo gallery discussion on Frosted Strawberry) and I am just throwing the following thoughts out here for discussion purposes.

    I have long wondered about the causes of variegation in maples and I believe that variegation can be caused in maples by a few of the factors below. Placing specific examples for each is very difficult.

    Natural Variegation: brought about through the consistant genetic expression of genes. This type leads to consistant patterns in leaves. Examples: sister ghost, ariadne, higasayama.

    Viral Variegation: brought about from viruses breaking down the formation of chlorophyll in parts of leaves, giving rise to various colors patterns in leaves from green to yellow to white. Examples: marakumo, A. c. pulverulentum

    Mutations: occuring naturally (spontaneously) and through forcing with chemicals (colchicine) in seeds which leads to the spontaneous expression of new genes (pigmention) in leaves. Examples:

    Chimeral Variegation: a natural process, this involves the switching on and off a genes at radomn continously as the plant grows. The mutations arise in the individual cell chloroplasts. Examples: asahi zuru, toyama nishiki


    Side note: Plants have a hard time making their way into the US from Japan and other parts of the world for fear of bringing the Mosaic Maple virus here. It is most likely here already and I wonder how virulent of a disease it is (I have rubbed numerous variegated leaves onto healthy non-variegated leaves to no avail).
     
  2. Laurie

    Laurie Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I have always assumed that variegation was caused, in part, by a virus, but I have never heard of or read about "maple mosaic virus." I tried a search on google, but nothing came up with those or similar keywords. If there are any specific viruses that have been identified, or any citations or research in the area, I would enjoy learning of them.
    I have heard of rose mosaic virus, and understand that it is a product of the rose industry, since it is believed to be transmitted through grafting. I have actually had an infected rose bush for some time, but never worried about it. Since my roses are in pots, the leaves of that bush do mingle with the leaves of other bushes as I move them around for whatever reason. Just for comparison, here is a link to an article about rose mosaic virus: http://www.ars.org/About_Roses/disease_mosaic_effects.htm.
     
  3. mendocinomaples

    mendocinomaples Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Laurie,

    The "maple mosaic or variegated diseases" is listed by the USDA as a reason to prohibit the transportation of maples from Europe and Japan.

    This is from part 319 Foreign Quaratine Notices USDA Title & Ag Chapter III
     
  4. yweride

    yweride Active Member 10 Years

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    mendocinomaples, as far as ive learned natural variegation and chimeral variegation are the same thing, or am i wrong?
     
  5. mendocinomaples

    mendocinomaples Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    yweride,

    Yes, my understanding of chimeral variegation is that it is a natural variegation caused by genetic expression. In my listings, I separated it from natural variegation as an attempt to sort out some of the variegation patterns we find in maples because the pattern of variegation in chimeral variegation is seemingly random (see examples in previous post).

    A chimera is where two different cell genotypes (DNA make-ups) coexist in adjacent tissue within a plant. There are many reasons for the differentiated cells. Mutations seem to be a common reason. Oxford University indexed hundreds of variegated plants and found that over 90% were due to chimeral mutants. Viruses were not involved.

    Whether or not the chimera continues to show over the entire plant, only sections of it, or not at all, has to do with the type of chimera, which depends on point of origin in the in the growing portion of the plant.



    I am still sorting all this out...and there seems to be some crossovers..hence there are no examples under mutations...
     

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