Monique Reed monique at
Wed May 23 09:24:22 EST 2001

Chimeras come up most often in discussions of variegated plants.  Some
variegations occur due to infection with a fairly harmless disease 
(Think Rembrandt tulips).  Some variegations breed true or come true
from cuttings, that is, all the offspring will be spotted or striped
or edged or what have you--the plant is "programmed" to have
variegated foliage under the proper conditions. 

A chimeric variegation is the result of two genetically different
tissue types being present in one plant--for example, one kind with
one pigment, another kind with no pigment or a different pigment. 
This can happen when different cell types fuse at a graft union
(uncommon), when embryo development goes awry, or when a mutation
occurs.  To reproduce a chimeric plant, one must use only vegetative
means and must make sure that both types are present in the cutting
(or tissue culture explant, etc.)

Other types of chimeras exist, of course, not just leaf variegation. 
M. Reed

> > .... 4. biol, an organism containing genetically different tissues,
> > formed by fusion of early embryos, grafting, or mutation, etc.
> Yes, the number 4 is what I'm looking for, but more in-depth. I've also
> found some of these short definitions but I'm trying to find a profound
> explanation of the process, the results, ... Anything really. Thanks!

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