Are there "Identical Twin" plants?

George Hammond ghammond at mediaone.net
Sun Dec 17 18:48:35 EST 2000


Wayne Parrott wrote:
> 
> Andrew Dalke wrote:

 About half of the yield gains are
> from improved agricultural practices- better fertilizer, pesticides, and
> irrigation.  The other half comes from genetics-- leading to the
> development of crops with the ability to reach a greater size or produce
> more harvestable tissue.
> 
> Theoretically, genetically identical plants should be identical
> regardless of where they are planted.  The failure of genetically
> identical plants to be the same in different environments allows crop
> scientists to estimate what portion of a plant's size or yield is caused
> by genetics, and what portion is due to environmental factors.


>  One can
> extrapolate from the genetic portion, and estimate the maximum yield.

GH:  Hmmm.. any idea what kid of a "ballpark figure" we are
     looking at presently?  1%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 30%, 40%....?
     the "a guesstimate" of this number is a real important
     theoretical quantity....not merely in agriculture, but
     more generally biologically.  Not because of the size of
     the number, but merely because the possibility of 
     "estimating it" lends positive credibility to the assertion
     that it exists.

> Keep in mind that that estimate is only valid for that group of
> genetically identical plants.  Change the genetics, and you change the
> maximum growth potential.

GH:  Of course.


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George Hammond, M.S. Physics
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