Plant meristems are composed of three layers that divide independent and develop into different plant parts. Indeed a plant can be described as a "hand-in-two-gloves".
When one of the meristem layers is struck by a mutation, a chimera originates: an organism composed of genetically different cells.
Certain striking visible chimeral traits, such as flower colour changes, albinism, and "thornless" epidermis can easily be observed.
In floriculture many of such chimeras are collected and maintained for their beauty or extravagancy.
They are also important as model plants to unravel the ontogeny of leaves, stems, floral organs, and roots.
Chimeras can not only start after a mutation in a meristem, also by induced polyploidisation, incomplete protoplast fusion, mixed callus culture and genetic
Rare "graft hybrid" cases such as the 'Bizzaria' orange and +Laburnocytisus adamii showed that is possible to synthesize chimeras with components that even differ in genus.
This lecture offers an eye-opener into the world of fascinating, bizarre and beautiful artefacts of nature, with great scientific and horticultural value. It is of special interest for plant breeders.
Lecturer: Prof. Stefaan Werbrouck
Department of Applied Biosciences
Organised by U Gent
Find the link to access HERE.