In my expertise as a cycad grower I routinely come across individual plants that display screen a solitary uncommon characteristic that I have under no circumstances viewed linked with that plant in the past. In almost all circumstances it turns out to be what I time period as an “case in point of singular incidence.” To me this means that I never keep in mind looking at it materialize to that plant in the past, and it hasn’t persisted in successive many years, when the plant repeats the similar part of its advancement cycle. When I examine these occurrences with other cycad growers, the usual reaction from them is that we were observing a mutation.
I made the decision I wanted to look up the definition of mutation. The dictionary defines it as “any heritable alteration of the genes or chromosomes of an organism.” This prompted me to believe that if what many of us have been characterizing as a mutation, and a mutation involves the “heritable alteration of the genes or chromosomes,” then why are these alterations or deviations not regularly exhibited calendar year immediately after 12 months in the plant, as do other genetic features? Perhaps we are not genuinely observing a mutation at all. Most likely the time period anomaly would be far more appropriate. The phrase anomaly is defined as: “Deviation from the typical or frequent purchase, kind or rule.” I suppose that these two definitions may perhaps be interpreted to have some diploma of synonymous this means. Nevertheless as described, a mutation can also be thought of an anomaly, but an anomaly is just not automatically a mutation, mainly because an anomaly doesn’t have to have a heritable alter of genes or chromosomes.
While this expression anomaly may perhaps be additional suitable, by definition it however indicates no root result in that would describe what, if anything at all, physically has taken place to induce cycads to display screen the “illustration of singular occurrence.” For me the concern remains unanswered. The many influential variables that comprise cycad culture convince me to consider that potentially we may well by no means be able to link all of the dots to have an understanding of what could result in an “instance of singular prevalence.”
An rare or strange manifestation could be the outcome of any singular or put together variety of abnormal or extreme disorders that the plant could practical experience. This should consist of any of a myriad of cultural variables, these kinds of as: surplus or shortage of drinking water, diet, heat, cold, dryness, humidity, shade, sunlight, pests, and many others.
It takes place to me now while I ponder the lots of aforementioned variables that cycads are subjected to in mother nature, that approximately this full record of problems, even in their more excessive variety, won’t actually seem to be to be that uncommon. In other text, the a lot more time I have expended increasing, the more generally I have witnessed a variety of uncommon or severe examples, which ironically are inclined to make these occurrences a lot less unconventional.
Just perhaps in the overall scheme of matters, the occasional example of “singular event” is not a mutation or an anomaly at all, but in the major photo of the potentially extended lifespan of cycads, these occurrences may be viewed as the norm.
All dictionary definitions are quoted from the New University Version of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.