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 Post subject: Colors and genetics
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:02 am 
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I'm more and more thinking along the lines of doing some hybridizing. Mostly for my own sake - for fun, and to learn. Did a few flasks, and all ended up contaminated but one. That one is still fine, like 6 months later - but no germination took place. I think it must have been a ploidity issue, since the seed pod was mostly filled with a little white "fuzz", and not much else. Could be that I got the nutrients wrong, although I did follow a recipe I got on the web, which has yielded successful results for others.

Anyway... to my question. I've read some about turning on or off different genes that have to do with color in Phalaenopsis. Honestly, I know next to nothing (ehum...errrrhm.... well... nothing is more true) about these things.

I would love to learn more! Are there good and reliable resources on the net or on this forum, and if so - where? Could someone please point me in the right directions?

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 Post subject: Re: Colors and genetics
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:38 am 
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Bump! I can't help you much as I don't really know the technical reasons behind things, I've just learned by talking to others and observing crosses that bloom out. But I'm also interested in seeing if anyone can point us in the direction of some more in depth genetics!

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 Post subject: Re: Colors and genetics
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:57 am 
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You have to really dig to find resources on the genetics and inheritance of different colors in orchids. There is no singular reference, that's one of the reasons it get's discussed a lot on different forums. I eventually want to get more information up on Orchid Vault like this and I hope to be able to pull some of the better information off the old Hybridizers Forum as well.

I'm also working on article as I have time that will eventually be published in one of the magazines that will cover some Phal color theory.

In the meantime if you have really specific questions, please ask. Try to stay really specific though, the broader the question you ask the harder its going to be for us to answer because of the length of the answer that would be required.


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 Post subject: Re: Colors and genetics
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:10 pm 
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TxRobNLA wrote:
You have to really dig to find resources on the genetics and inheritance of different colors in orchids. There is no singular reference, that's one of the reasons it get's discussed a lot on different forums. I eventually want to get more information up on Orchid Vault like this and I hope to be able to pull some of the better information off the old Hybridizers Forum as well.

I'm also working on article as I have time that will eventually be published in one of the magazines that will cover some Phal color theory.

In the meantime if you have really specific questions, please ask. Try to stay really specific though, the broader the question you ask the harder its going to be for us to answer because of the length of the answer that would be required.


That is exactly the type of thing I would love to see! Do tell us when it comes out and what magazine it's in!! It fascinates me to wonder which color combinations tend to create which outcomes, and try to predict what a cross would be!

For instance (ignoring the possibly bad ploidy in this case) something like what would crossing a red phal (something like Chingruey's Blood-Red Sun) and a yellow phal (something like Sogo Manager)? Would you get orange? patterns? artshade? a mix of all three?

Now it's obvious for the above instance that parentage would determine a lot, but is there any bit of reliability to go by for just colors? So we could predict color outcomes?

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 Post subject: Re: Colors and genetics
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:45 pm 
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That one is actually a pretty complex example. My suggestion would be to look at this from a different angle to simplify the discussion. Identify what you want to accomplish. A solid orange, and art shade, a solid red, something spotted? Then we talk about what it will take to get there.

In the specific cross example you have CBRS is the more important parent to discuss. It has both Golden Sun and Golden Peoker in it. There is a lot going on in that flower that is going to affect the outcome of different crosses. You have the harlequin gene, genetics for spotting, limited genetics that would spread out color. Short answer with this specific cross you probably would not get art shades or solid oranges. You might get a few orangey spots/blotches with some darker spotting underneath. What’s more likely is that you would get a range of yellow flowers with varying degrees of red spots/blotches. Possibly some harlequins. If you are lucky some might get close to solid red, but it’s unlikely. You may also get a few that don’t have a strong yellow background and end up being more cream with lavender spots. The reasons why is a much longer response and I’ll have to write that later tonight when I'm at home.


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 Post subject: Re: Colors and genetics
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:49 pm 
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maybe you need to design a colour-wheel of colours that you WON'T get, irrespective of what is in the parent's background ? Is that possible? I would pay for that.....
Like white with white - won't give you red, green or pink


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 Post subject: Re: Colors and genetics
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:28 pm 
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TxRobNLA wrote:
That one is actually a pretty complex example. My suggestion would be to look at this from a different angle to simplify the discussion. Identify what you want to accomplish. A solid orange, and art shade, a solid red, something spotted? Then we talk about what it will take to get there.

In the specific cross example you have CBRS is the more important parent to discuss. It has both Golden Sun and Golden Peoker in it. There is a lot going on in that flower that is going to affect the outcome of different crosses. You have the harlequin gene, genetics for spotting, limited genetics that would spread out color. Short answer with this specific cross you probably would not get art shades or solid oranges. You might get a few orangey spots/blotches with some darker spotting underneath. What’s more likely is that you would get a range of yellow flowers with varying degrees of red spots/blotches. Possibly some harlequins. If you are lucky some might get close to solid red, but it’s unlikely. You may also get a few that don’t have a strong yellow background and end up being more cream with lavender spots. The reasons why is a much longer response and I’ll have to write that later tonight when I'm at home.


Thanks for taking the time to write that out! The cross was purely theoretical, so don't worry about taking lots of time to explain the subtleties of it, but thanks! From that answer I can deduce that there really is no simple way to say "Color A + Color B = Color C" It's more about the parentage.

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 Post subject: Re: Colors and genetics
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:37 pm 
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TxRobNLA wrote:
In the meantime if you have really specific questions, please ask. Try to stay really specific though, the broader the question you ask the harder its going to be for us to answer because of the length of the answer that would be required.

Well... I've read some practical things, but they haven't really given the reasons behind why or how.

Like... to get a good red, one needs a really good yellow - because true red doesn't exist as a color pigment in orchids? Is that true? And what then makes up the red in the really red looking ones?

And when crossing a bleak-colored magenta violacea with a coerulea, one can get a really intense violet? Why does the cross amp up the color intensity so much, when both parents could have so poor intensity in their color pigments?

And then there is the question of patterns. Like... when using an ambo with a violacea to make Princess Kaiulani - one can get even colors, gradients, or patterns. Or combinations of all that. Seems a bit unpredictable? But if then using an evenly colored Princess Kaiulani in another cross... can it give traits of pattern to its offspring, even though it doesn't have patterns itself? And what would the ratio be?

And then there is the question of shape. Like some phals have REALLY dominant shape. Phal wilsonii, minus, and to some extent chibae. But I'm not sure I'm ready to get into that quite yet...

I'd love to learn what I can - even if it's only some practical tips and advice, and not too in-depth. One has to start somewhere ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Colors and genetics
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:40 pm 
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Also are there dominant/recessive/etc traits with phals that we are able to put into things like punnet squares and can make educated guesses that way? If there are traits that can work like that, what are they?

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 Post subject: Re: Colors and genetics
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:14 pm 
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Quote:
From that answer I can deduce that there really is no simple way to say "Color A + Color B = Color C" It's more about the parentage.


There are generalities...

To get a good red, you need strong yellow pigments and strong magenta/lavender pigments. As you reduce the amount of yellow the color starts to shift away from fire engine red and more towards purple and then lavender.

If you want a solid red (no spots) then the source of the magenta/lavender has to be very evenly distributed across the flower.

The more complex the genetics in the parents, the more complex and frequently difficult to predict the results become.


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 Post subject: Re: Colors and genetics
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:05 pm 
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Here is a little more info on the pigments associated with getting red out a of phal...

Anthocyanins - within the genus Phalaenopsis, there are three different anthocyanin pigments that are produced in different amounts across different species. Anthocyanins A and B are responsible for magenta to lavender to pink colors. Anthocyanin C is responsible for the violet color in coerulea forms. The ratio of these three different pigments will effect the color hue of the flower.

Yellow Pigments - there are two sets of pigments that produce yellow in phals: Flavanoid and carotenoid pigments. The Flavanoid pigments represent the more butter yellow hue and they are more prone to fading. The carotenoid pigments tend to be a deeper gold yellow and are less prone to fading. In some cases they actually get darker as the flower ages. The species venosa is a great example of a strong source of carotenoid pigments.

Carotenoid pigments are more strongly inherited on the maternal side through the plastid genes that are not carried in the nuclear genes.

When you overlay anthocyanins on yellow pigments, the perceived color is a range of orange to red.

So to make a really good red phal you would want to choose the following:

Pod Parent - with strong carotenoid yellow pigments. This can still be an existing red phal that already has this strong yellow in it.

Pollen Parent - with strong anthocyanin pigments. If you want a solid red, make sure the parent you choose has very dark and evenly distributed pigments. If you want an orange/art shade, then choose a lighter lavender or pink.

There are still other factors that can effect the outcome beyond just these. So this is still a simplistic view, but should give you some basics to work from.


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 Post subject: Re: Colors and genetics
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:08 pm 
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Quote:
And when crossing a bleak-colored magenta violacea with a coerulea, one can get a really intense violet? Why does the cross amp up the color intensity so much, when both parents could have so poor intensity in their color pigments?


In a coerulea only anthocyanin C is being expressed. The genes to produce A and B are still in the plant, they are just turned off. When you make this kind of cross, they get turned back on and now you have all 3 anthocyanins being produced and a more saturated flower than either parent.


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 Post subject: Re: Colors and genetics
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:06 pm 
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Thanks so much Rob! That helps a lot!!!! So if I want an orange (And I desperately do!), it would be best to use a nice yellow or red that has strong carotinoid pigment, and use for the pollen parent something with lots of anthocyanins, such as a strongly magenta violacea or Sogo Kaiulani 'Joy'?

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 Post subject: Re: Colors and genetics
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:53 am 
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Using something as dark as Sogo Kaiulani is probably going to get you closer to red. A dark violacea is probably also going to give you reds. For a novelty cross, bellina hybrids seem to do a good job of both smoothing out the color and also keeping the saturation of the anthocyanins down to a level that gives you more orange tones than red tones.

This is what you get when you use a saturated violacea on a good yellow:

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11503&hilit=princess+kaiulani

Penang Girl or a Penang Girl hybrid that has good color distribution would be a better choice. For instance Robert Bedard's cross of Mambo X Penang Girl resulted in some nice oranges. Some of them had spots, but then some of them the Penang Girl smoothed out the color there is no spotting.

One thing to keep in mind, most of the older select culivars of Penang Girl were actually made with bellina, not violacea.


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 Post subject: Re: Colors and genetics
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:01 am 
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Some additional genetics info on bellina:
- many bellina have the pigment production genes for yellow pigments including carotenoids. (It's possible they all have the production genes, but the control genes may be modulating the amount of yellow expressed to varying degrees in different cultivars.)
- bellina has control genes that limit the amount of anthocyanin production and its distribution across the flower

Understanding this is important because it can allow you to make appropriate parent choices depending on what you are trying to accomplish.

Pigment production and control genes
- For every pigment that is produced, there is a production gene that is basically the programming for creating that specific pigment.
- There are separate control genes that determine how much of that pigment is produced.

Because they are separate and independent, the lack of presence of a specific pigment in a flower does not mean the pigment production genes are no longer present.

For example, many albas are a result of broken control genes that are not turning on the production of a given pigment. When it's a case of an error with the control gene, it is not a heritable trait. Self that alba or cross it to other albas and you will get all magentas because the error in the control gene get's fixed when the cross is made. Think of it as nature's own error correction. This is the reason some albas will breed true and some will not.


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