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  • 1 Post By Cjcorner

Color Dominance in Encyclia crosses

This is a discussion on Color Dominance in Encyclia crosses within the Breeding & Hybridization forums, part of the Orchid Propagation category; Topic: color dominance in Encyclia crosses. Color dominance can be rather complex issue, I know, ...

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    pavel's Avatar
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    Default Color Dominance in Encyclia crosses

    Topic: color dominance in Encyclia crosses.

    Color dominance can be rather complex issue, I know, and it does not always follow the patterns we might expect. For example, in catts, lavender tends to be the dominant color so even crosses involving a dark red or dark purple flower with a lavender flower usually results in progeny with lavender flowers. However, I am not knowledgeable as to the levels of color dominance involving Encyclia and their hybrids.

    Many Encyclia have flowers with a marked amount of brown in them. So if crossed with a flower of a different color (whether another Encyclia or a Cattleya), what is the likelihood of the brown showing up in the progeny? And realizing this may depend upon what the coloration of that other flower is, would anyone have a breakdown of color dominance combinations?

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    just an observation, mostly the pictures i've seen of epicats that are actually encyclia hybrids take the color of the cattleya parent, i.e. pink/lavender. i have recently seen some photos of laelia/cattleya/encyclia hybrids and they had more range of colors, like white and lighter pinks and some orange shading... but in general, they look like an encyclia plant with little cattleya flowers. more substance than encyclia flowers, but the flowers themselves did not look like an encyclia. but the plants sure do.

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    In any catt-encyc hybrids I have seen, the encyc flower form always dominates (or at least has a very strong influence) and I have -- as you mentioned -- noticed that the color of the catt parent typically comes through. However I am woefully ignorant of whether this is merely due to the hybridizer's selecting an Encyclia species as a parent which has coloration similar to the catt parent used, or if alba varieties of the particular Encyclia are used to insure the only color input is from the catt, or if it is more directly a matter of color dominance.

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    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    Flower color is rarely a simple dominant/recessive interaction. Whether a plant can make a certain color molecule is controlled by a series of genes allowing a biochemical pathway to make it, and any gene in the pathway could be disrupted to prevent it. But other sets of genes control where and how strongly the color will be expressed. And every possible color molecule is more or less independantly inherited. At least in most cases, what you perceive as brown color in Encyclia flowers is some level of red/lavender anthocyanin pigments against a green background. If the Cattleya parent crossed with an Encyclia seems to be dominant for color it is probably a case of green being prevented from expressing in the flowers more than anything else, since obviously nearly every plant can make chlorophyll, they just don't all put it into flowers.

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    Great minds must think alike. I kid you not; I was just thinking about that yesterday. I took the pics with 'MAJ' and Alata and was thinking how Encyclia shape seems to really come through on crosses with most of the color coming from the Cattleya side. The one feature that can carry the color from the Encyclia is the lip. It's so exciting to go to the local nurseries that like Encyclia hybrids as some of the new flowers are like a rainbow. One of my new favorites are the Yamadara; a complex hybrid with 1/4 Encyclia. Even with that small of a percentage the flowers still carry most of the encyclia shape like MAJ. I could seriously be a total Encyclia nut...if i'm not already well on my way. lol

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    pipsxlch is offline Senior Member
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    Love the encyclias and hybrids myself lol. I do have one Yamadara- Queen Joyce Duncan 'Freckles' I think- blooming at the moment (it's my only yamadara). Cute round spotty flower in with all my brown and green encyclias blooming now lol. The Encyclia is still evident in it, though the flower is rounded and orange with red spotted petals.

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