Something that I had long suspected -- that supposedly identical TC plants appear and behave differently, even though grown in the same place and under identical conditions -- had really been considered "old news" by the micro-propagating (TC) community and actually had been for several years -- that notion that, well, "not all plants are created equally" in terms of "clonal fidelity" (though many or most growers may be unaware of this); and the most concise view of some of the current arguments can best be exemplified by Scott Hyndman, Nursery Manager for the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens, Center for Tropical Plant Conservation, of Florida:
"Clonal integrity is influenced by stress factors, genotype, culture age, cutting and transferring technique, and numerous other factors still being investigated . . ."
It had also been determined that even the choice of plant tissue to be cultured can affect the outcome of the explants. In an experiment to determine "clonal fidelity" among ornamental Gerbera and Bambera plants in TC, it was found that:
"The clones derived from capitulum and shoot tip explants did not show any genetic variation, whereas, one of the leaf-derived clones exhibited some degree of variation." and, " . . . of the various methods of in vitro propagation [of Bambera], axillary branching method is regarded as the safest, the possibility of genetic variation (somaclonal variation) cannot be ruled out even in this method."
This may further explain the problems some growers have witnessed, even when individual cultivation practices and other factors have already been taken into consideration. A case in point, is Dionaea muscipula "B52," which has been repeatedly-cultured, both here and abroad. I have plants which were original vegetative divisions from the "parents" (of two primary US and Canadian cultures in circulation) and others which were TC clones of those very same Henning von Schmeling originals.
Even though all of the plants were grown under identical conditions, locations, and composts, they exhibited a variety of appearances, growing habits (some clones persisted as rosettes, others more upright), and even varied in their much-touted large size (some traps readily reached 5 cm or more, while others remain around 3.9 cm or so).
I have also had similar experiences with micro-propagated Heliamphora, where two plants from -- ostensibly -- the same culture will behave quite differently under identical cultivation (either quickly assuming adult leaves within weeks or months or else producing nothing but juveniles -- sometimes for years.
Yet more kindling for the argument over tissue cultured plants versus vegetative divisions or seed . . .