New Plants

Steve Jones sjones at igc.apc.org
Sat Jan 20 04:05:40 EST 1996


In article <4dcu3f$ja4 at newsbf02.news.aol.com>,
   ruralite at aol.com (RURALITE) wrote:
>Could anyone tell me what, if anything is wrong with the following
>scenario?:
>I build a lab, stock it with x-ray machines, and/or mutagens, along with a
>bunch of botanist types. The mission: to cause millions or billions of
>random mutations in seeds with the hope that a few will result in viable,
>survivable new characteristics in horticultural species, to be patented
>and marketed as new varieties or new species to the garden trade. Wouldn't
>this be a more massive acceleration of the natural evolution process which
>has produced the impressive variety in plants we see today?

Well, if the botanist types don't mind messing around in a lab full of 
mutagens, what the hey...

I think it might be worth a look at the string of probabilities you will have 
to overcome to produce anything useful, and the expense of maintaining such a 
lab.

If you don't mind planting out thousands of seeds to see one or two actually 
sprout, and find that they didn't produce any useful mutations, then go ahead. 

Careful with that colchicine!

Steve



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