"Caerulea" Phals

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raybark
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"Caerulea" Phals

Post by raybark » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:50 am

I hope I don't step on any toes here, but to me, many of the so-called "caeruleas" are really dirty looking, as if other pigments are "muddying" the coloration.

Shouldn't the genetics be reconsidered, and maybe come at the breeding from a different angle?
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Post by TxRobNLA » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:01 pm

It's a fair observation and makes for some interesting discussion...

It's REALLY difficult to keep the color pure and not have other pigments in the flower.

There are definitely some lines that have close to pure color, but you almost always get some amount of green and yellow pigment coming from the species that produce Anthocyanin C in the first place. (see the attached photo of my 4n Louise Burns line, these still have a lot of yellow and green in them but it's a genetically very clean line of breeding with only indigo violacea and equestris v cyanochilus in it.)

A recent trend we are seeing are a lot of breeders starting to embrace layering other pigments into the flower to get new color forms. Some of these turn out really muddy, some of them turn out really nice. The genetics get really complicated so you start to see a huge range. In some cases this was probably intentional breeding, in some cases experimental and then probably some cases of people just tossing a toothpick around. We are seeing this with a lot of Mituo's breeding. You'll start to see some of it from some my lines like my coerulea Princess Kaiulani and Yellow Angel.

One of the bigger challenges that actually makes all this worse is the tendency for Anthocyanin's A and B to turn back on. You have to introduce additional genetics to block the expression of those pigments and unfortunately you tend to get other pigments in the process of doing that. So it is very difficult to push coerulea breeding forward without periodically introducing some additional pigments.

Best, Rob
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Post by raybark » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:48 pm

Thanks for the reply, Rob.

That posted image is one of the best I've seen, as far as clarity of color is concerned.
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Post by DPfarr » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:41 pm

How does the coffee pigment come up in relation to coeruleas?

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Post by TxRobNLA » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:35 am

There are multiple pigments in those flowers. Some of them are coerulea where they are expressing Anthocyanin C along with some of these other flavanoid pigments that are giving it the yellow/brown color. Usually you can look at the lip to tell if it's a coerulea or not.

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Post by DPfarr » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:29 pm

In regards to some regulatory pathway being deficient, it’s the same though?

What would a smart approach to coerulea harlequins be? Either a splotchy Golden Peoker or entire tepal surface to increase tissue thickness and retain color?

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Post by TxRobNLA » Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:41 pm

You have different pigment pathways for different pigments.

Years ago we were speculating on creating harlequin coeruleas. Other than a few random crosses, I don't think anyone really did much trying to accomplish it. Back then we did not have many 4n coeruleas, so that was one issue. Based on the way I have seen harlequin's breed, my guess is it's going to be really difficult to keep Anthocyanin A and B from being expressed in those crosses. Harlequin's have some interesting things going on with the pigment regulation genes and you never know if that is going to interact with a coerulea form and do something cool. Either way I would start with either Golden Peoker 'Nan Cho' or 'BL' because they have a creamy white background with green on the back of the petals. (No anthocyanin other than the harlequin pattern expressed.)

On the 2n front it wouldn't really be harlequin in terms of pigment density, but my guess is coerulea speciosa is going to end up getting used to create some similar patterns. If any of these alba/flava gigantea crosses end up blooming coerulea then we may see some really interesting possibilities emerge.

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Re: "Caerulea" Phals

Post by raybark » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:42 am

Well, there you go, Rob. Sounds like time to hone the CRISPR skills and "sub out" some pigment-controlling genes.
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Post by TxRobNLA » Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:57 am

LOL, when that time comes I think I'll be retiring my toothpick and leaving the blue breeding to the geneticists.

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Post by DPfarr » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:06 am

How I’d love to have a gene map for breeding. I imagine assuming Mendelian single/double traits isn’t the best way to go about this. Like I can’t expect to do a GP x violacea indigo and line breed out the double recessive to get a stable harlequin coerulea by the 5th gen.

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Post by TxRobNLA » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:43 am

That's correct, a typical line breeding approach that would normally work to bring out recessive genes usually does not work with coeruleas. Most of the coerulea mutations have complete pigment pathways (and genetics) for producing all three anthocyanin's. In most cases (I'm not going to say all), the mutation that gives you a coerulea is the same type of mutation that gives you an alba only it's happening only on Anthocyanins A and B. It's usually an error in the pigment pathway and different coeruleas have different errors. It's the type of error that tends to get corrected if a cross is made with another orchid that has the working pigment pathway. That's the reason we end up with so many magenta flowers out of coerulea crosses. So far I have never been able to line breed those resulting magentas and then get any coeruleas. For all practical purposes the mutation is completely gone.

There are only two ways to get a coerulea out of those lines. The first is to breed them back to a coerulea and even that does not always work. The second is to breed with a coerulea or non-coerulea that has genetics for turning off Anthocyanin production.

I'm currently tracking two groups of coeruleas that appear to have the same mutation and as a result are compatible when breeding:

Group 1:
- standard coerulea violacea
- coerulea pulcherrima
- some alba equestris cultivars

Group 2:
- indigo violacea
- coerulea bellina
- equestris v cyanochilus

This creates a really big divide between pulcherrima crosses and indigo violacea crosses.

I suspect the new coerulea tetraspis/speciosa and lueddemanniana are going to go into group 2 based on the early crosses I have seen. But I don't have enough data yet to really confirm that. It's always possible that these have completely different mutations and they will fall out of group 1 and 2 completely.

Mituo's coerulea crosses that are coming out of Dragon Tree Eagle appear to be in group 1. It appears to be a case where Dragon Tree Eagle has a tendency to throw the mutation that gives you a coerulea and then when you add standard coerulea violacea into the mix you get more stable coeruleas.

Only recently have I been able to develop coerulea crosses where Group 1 and 2 coeruleas can be successfully bred together. I have multiple things I'm working on with coeruleas, but one big chunk of the current work that I'm doing is related coming up with techniques that will allow for breeding between the two groups of coeruleas.

Sorry for the long response. But hopefully the some of the extra context is helpful.

Best, Rob

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Re:

Post by DPfarr » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:42 am

That’s absolutely helpful. Thank you for allowing the tangent in your thread.

It’s difficult for me to resist wanting to use an f1 or F2 cross because like you said, it’s probably already set to correct some of those pathways. It’s also amazing how that gene(s) might not become permanent in such focused breeding.

At any rate, I’m ready to add some more nice coeruleas to the collection!

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