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is growing a population of plants from a single motherplant good

Posted by njbiology z6 NJ (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 13, 05 at 9:09

If i were to buy a single flowering, hardy pond plant, such as a monkey flower or even a garen perenial like sage, and plant it.
1. Would the plants own flowers have a good chance of polinating themselves with eachother?

2. More importantly, would i be able to form a healthy population, several generations, from a single flowering plants - or is the fact that all of the resulting generations comming from a single plant would be weaker in some ways then if i were to have a group of plants fertilizing eachother and introducing diversity to the gene pool?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: is growing a population of plants from a single motherplant g

Great question. Fertility and if you obtain seeds depends on if the species is self incompatible or self compatible. For instance with heliopsis, if you just have one isolated plant you typically get no seed set, but after you have a couple or more then you get lots of seeds and seedlings coming up. I would research the plant family and species to learn what is common.

For the idea of starting a population from limited founding parents, that depends on the species to what degree it suffers from inbreeding depression, if at all. As a breeder looking for diversity, I like to obtain multiple cultivars with different traits to begin with to generate diversity and then select what I am looking for. I guess it depends on your objective, but I would lean towards not bottlenecking your population too much if it can be avoided and having at least a few founding parents.


RE: is growing a population of plants from a single motherplant g

How susceptible a plant is to inbreeding depression is often inversely correlated with how reliably that plant will self-pollinate. Inbreeding is generally bad, and some plants won't self-fertilize, but it all depends on which species you're working with. For instance, some plants exhibit no noticable inbreeding depression...

Patrick Alexander

RE: is growing a population of plants from a single motherplant g


Would you say it would be better for me to populate my yard with seedlings from a single mother plant (i.e. Phlox divaricata, Spigelia marilandica, Iris cristata), or to get plants of these species from different geographic regions (ecotypes). The first may cause inbreeding depression, whereas the later may cause outbreeding depression and ecotype hybrid vigor, followed by decline (F2, etc.)


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