X-Plant

"In molecular biology and genetics, mutations are changes in a genomic sequence: the DNA sequence of a cell's genome or the DNA or RNA sequence of a virus. They can be defined as sudden and spontaneous changes in the cell. Mutations are caused by radiation, viruses, transposons and mutagenic chemicals, as well as errors that occur during meiosis or DNA replication.  They can also be induced by the organism itself, by cellular processes such as hypermutation."

Honestly, I did not understand much of what was written above. 

Okay, let's try another approach.

"In comic books published by Marvel Comics, a mutant is an organism (usually human) who possesses a genetic trait called X-gene which allows the mutant to naturally develop superhuman powers and abilities."

This is a lot better.

Mutants, from the point of view of comics, are dangerous and are considered a serious threat to the survival of Homo sapiens.  The government is dead set to seek all mutants and destroy them.

Used through Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0). By Tag Your Friends on flickrHowever, for plant enthusiasts, mutations are welcomed.  In fact, people seek mutant plants for their collection.  Mutations in plant are rare and can come in different forms. 

Variegation is a kind of plant mutation where the leaves or stems show different streaks, marks or patches of color or colors.  Since variegation happens only once in a blue moon, such characteristic usually makes the plant more valuable.  I read somewhere that a variegated Zamia furfuracea, a kind of cycad, was sold by a collector for USD17,000.00.  Unbelievable!

One of my favorite plants is a variegated Agave angustifolia.  A superb looking plant but it's price tag is nowhere near USD17,000.00.  

The leaves of this one looks like it has been bleached.  It exhibits a symmetrical rosette.

Below is a close-up of the leaf variegation.

They say mutant plants are harder to grow.  I am not sure though if this is true.   The growing conditions and culture of my plants, mutants or otherwise, are the same.  Unlike the governments depicted in Marvel comics, I am an advocate of equal rights.  I do not discriminate.  I care for all my plants equally.  I think there is still so much to learn about mutations in plants.

Let me end this post by paraphrasing Prof. Charles Francis Xavier:  Mutants.  They're not what you think.

 

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