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Discussions about anything related to Venus Flytraps, cultivars and named clones

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By albertoburrito
Posts:  78
Joined:  Tue Apr 13, 2021 2:34 am
I'm wondering how cultivars are bred. I read that if they are grown by seed, they are considered typical. So how does one get normal flytraps, and breed them until its like a red dragon, or a fused tooth? :?:
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By CPhunter101
Posts:  107
Joined:  Thu Feb 11, 2021 9:30 pm
Cultivars are selected flytraps grown from seed. If they look cool enough, they're cloned (cuttings, tissue culture, etc) over and over again. I think fused tooth was a mutation on a typical flytrap but I'm not 100% sure about red dragon (probably a pigment/color mutation). There are many posts discussing the creation of cultivars if you search them up.
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By ChefDean
Posts:  3076
Joined:  Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:44 am
A simple question with a long answer.
First, all Flytraps are the same species, and all cultivars began as typicals. Cultivars come into being either by a mutation, or a specific combination of genes coming together.
A Flytraps dominant genotype tells it to grow a low rosette, green petioles, a red blush in the trap, and separated cilia to trap a bug more effectively. Occasionally, a combination of genes or a mutation emerges for a plant to grow tall, or red, or with fused teeth. The first two things could cause the plant to be more obvious to grazers and be eaten more, even targeted, while the third might make it harder to trap a bug, slowing its growth. So, through natural selection, these specific plants usually don't last long enough to reproduce, but the genes are still present in the population.
If it is due to a mutation, you could expect the same results in the wild. Natural selection will remove them from the gene pool before those traits become too widespread. However, they usually live long enough to maybe pass some pollen along, so new genes get added to the soup.
Now, introduce humans to the mix.
If we let the plants produce seed, 999,999 out of 1,000,000 ( a low number) will look extremely similar to the parent, but not identical due to the genotypic soup that created the seeds. The 1 will still look like the parents, but maybe have slightly shorter cilia, and slightly wider petiole. However, with 21,000+ genes spread over 32 chromosomes, the potential combinations are closer to 6.5 million possibilities with just the base genes on the chromosome. Add gene alleles into the mix, and your possible combinations soar to 4.3 trillion possible results. Quite a big haystack to find a needle in, but, obviously, it has been done.
If it is due to a mutation, the mutation affects the whole plant, and can be reproduced (stable), then you may have a new cultivar on your hands. If the mutation is within a single leaf, it's not likely to be stable, and won't go anywhere beyond that leaf. You could try, but I wouldn't expect anything.
The only way to keep the new genetic combination or mutation is to grow new plants from that plant itself, not seeds. Leaf pulls, TC, divisions, etc. will produce exact copies of that plants genotype, and perpetuate a new cultivar.
You can create a higher probability of a new cultivar by crossing a fused tooth with a red dragon, as they already have recessive genes at the fore, but don't expect your first seed to germinate to produce what you're looking for.
After you find a new cultivar, there's a process to make it official, but that's a whole other process.
So, all cultivars were once a seed grown "typical", until some stable characteristic emerged to make it stand out .
(I guess I could have simply stated that last paragraph instead of blowing all that other hot air, but I like to talk sometimes)
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By Shadowtski
Posts:  4212
Joined:  Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:19 am
Sometimes sheer blind luck is involved too.
Josh, a CP grower at Flytrap King happened to look at a tray of Drosera capensis plants.
He saw a plant that was Pink/Red in color and several times larger than all its neighbors.
He sold it, and still sells it as Drosera capensis "Big Pink".
I don't think he ever registered it as a cultivar.
He's content to just sell it and make a few bucks.
I still have my "Big Pink" I got from him.

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