Thursday, May 1, 2014

An Excursion Into Genetics - Lithops marmorata x julii

I never studied genetics in school, so it's about time I did some experimenting on my own (again).

On October 22, 2013 I had a couple of flowering Lithops julii and marmorata and since my very first experiment with cross pollinating Lithops went so well (see posts on Lithops julii x marmorata), I am now trying it the other way around: a marmorata mother and a julii father.

I have documented it very thoroughly this time, to be able to see exactly what mother and father looked like once the children have grown up. I even documented the pollination (which pollen onto which plant) on the sides of my pots so I'll be able to recollect it precisely (... OCD much? ;)).

My julii x marmorata are just now starting to show definite signs of their mother's julii genes (see So, a marmorata x julii cross might look the same (if the julii gene is dominant).

The interesting part then happens when these two next generation Lithops are cross pollinated again. Because, according to Mendel that's when the recessive genes can show up again.

So, what I have to do now is:
  • sow these seeds (next year) and document it,
  • wait until the seedlings are old enough to see their markings (another two years), that's the first interesting point,
  • wait until one of each plant is flowering (another two to five or more years),
  • cross pollinate,
  • harvest the seeds (another year),
  • sow them and wait what THOSE seedlings will look like (another two to three years).

Sounds like I have found something to keep myself occupied with for the next decade or two. ;)

But now, here are the documentation pictures:

Papa julii 1:

Mama marmorata 2:

Mama marmorata 3:

Mama marmorata 4:

Mama marmorata 2: opening the seed capsule and harvesting the seeds

Mama marmorata 3: opening the seed capsule and harvesting the seeds

Mama marmorata 4: opening the seed capsule and harvesting the seeds