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Thread: Mutant fly traps

  1. #9
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    I think that would be a neat plant if you were able to asexualy reproduce that plant by cutting that leaf and making an entire plant with traps like that then getting it cloned. I think it looks awsome and would make an oddity to any collection. If it tunred out to be a gentetic mutation in that leaf that would be passed on to a sprout from a cutting. then subsiquently in any clones made from that stock.

    Mokele does it have to be two agasent tymine? A mutation can occure by a faulty DNA replication, or the accidental base mismatch correct?
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Mokele does it have to be two agasent tymine? A mutation can occure by a faulty DNA replication, or the accidental base mismatch correct?
    For UV-induced pyrimidine dimers, yes, they have to be adjacent. However, there's *lots* of ways for mutation to occur, including radiation or chemical damage to DNA (from carcinogens and from simple free radicals that are the product of oxidative metabolism), and errors in the replication process (mismatches, insertions, deletions, extensions of repeated sequences) or during division (unequal crossing over or, in plants, aneuroploidy, gaining or losing entire chromosomes).

    Of course, not all mutations have an effect; some occur in useless areas of DNA, others might occur in non-protien-coding areas of genes, might substitute one amino-acid for another so chemically similar that it makes no difference, or might affect a portion of a protien that's purely structural rather than having any important chemical properties. Neutral gene theory (and 'nearly-neutral' gene theory) hold that most such genetic differences have little to no effect on organisms, though later mutations or environmental changes can allow selection to act on this accumulated diversity.

    They're also more frequent than one might think; a recent paper in Science discovered that, on average, each human possesses 4 new mutations that affect final protien structure. That's in addition to prior mutations inherited from parents which have lingered in the population due to low selective pressure against them (or selective pressure for them, in the case of beneficial mutations).

    Mokele
    \"With malleus aforethought, mammals got an earful of their ancestor's jaw.\"
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Um, the mutation rate will be the same, regardless of the plant's ancestry as sexual or asexual; it's purely a chemical reaction in the DNA, and the sort of 'genetic signature' cloning would leave is unlikely to substantially affect mutation rate. Cultivar or not, two adjacent thymines plus a bit of UV equals a pyrimidine dimer which, if not fixed by photolyase, will lead to mutation. Where those two thymines are located and the content of the surrounding code is irrelevant. Unless there's something *really* special about flytrap genetics, the mutation rate will be constant across plants, cloned or not
    I'm saying hundreds of thousands of genetically identical plants grown throughout the world since 1996 and none of which have shown any mutation would lessen the chances of one of these plants mutating, as opposed to batches of genetically different plants grown from seed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I'm saying hundreds of thousands of genetically identical plants grown throughout the world since 1996 and none of which have shown any mutation would lessen the chances of one of these plants mutating, as opposed to batches of genetically different plants grown from seed.
    None of which have shown *visible* mutant phenotypes, that we know of. Most mutations either have little effect or are invisible, affecting things such as metabolic pathways.

    Additionally, plants are usually diploid (I'm excluding mosses and ferns here, which have both haploid and diploid stages), and plants have an usual talent for aneuroploidy and full-blown polyploidy. This means that any given gene exists in a minimum of 2 copies in the genome, possibly many more. If one is rendered non-functional or its function is altered by mutation, the other copy 'fills in' and covers up the mutation. In sexually reproducing species, these mutations would be expressed down the line when an individual inherited two copies of the same original mutant allele. In asexual species (or those propagated strictly asexually), the mutation will not be expressed until a second mutation of the same sort occurs on the other gene; the probability of this happening is very small.

    In fact, since aseuxally reproduced plants don't have the genetic shuffling that goes along with sex, I'd suspect they'd actually have a higher-than-usual number of hidden, novel mutations, because without that genetic shuffle, such mutations *remain* hidden, while in sexually-reproduced plants, the mutations become expressed via offspring that are homozygous for the mutant allele, and thus are exposed to selection, either positive or negative, leading to the elimination or fixation of the mutant allele.

    The diversity of offspring seen as a result of sexual reproduction isn't due to any higher mutation rate (male germ line cells do have a higher mutation rate in vertebrates, but not to a tremendously significant level), but rather due to 'shuffling the genetic deck' bringing new combinations of existing genes to the light.

    If asexual reproduction was any real barrier to mutation, we wouldn't have to worry about antibiotic-resistant bacteria. And while plants are, to an extent, different from bacteria, they aren't really that different at the molecular level (in fact, all life is more or less the same at the molecular level, with large differences only appearing between groups separated by billions of years of evolution). DNA is DNA, and regardless of how it's copied, there *will* be errors.

    Mokele
    \"With malleus aforethought, mammals got an earful of their ancestor's jaw.\"
    --J. Burns, on the evolution of auditory ossicles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Alvin Meister @ April 22 2006,11:20)]Strictly speaking it's deformed, not a mutant
    I second that i've been around the fused tooths at jeremiahs house and their traps seemed more consistently fused together rather than one freak trap, really cool trap though
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    Lord Humungus's Avatar
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    Other traps where showing some signs of doing the same thing. Just not as bad. If I clone it, and it grows all it's traps like that, how will it eat?
    I'm still living off the corpse of the old world.

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    e-mail me a pic please!, i cant c it...

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    I would definetaly Clone it. See if its offspring show the same traits, i doubt they will but it is probable. If it stays with a few generations of off spring, try Crossing it and see the results! (If it passes on the genetics to the offspring!)

    Cheers

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