Variegation and Chimera

Class: Genetic related issues
Common Name: Variegation and chimera
Potential Host:

All crops

In Short:

When it comes to plants, variegation is a general term used when a plant or a part of a plant exhibits deviations from it’s normal pigmentation. It can come in the form of patterns or random, irregular spots, blotches, streaks and stripes comprising of several colors that are usually different shades of green, yellow, and white.

In plant biology, chimera is often used to denote a specific case of visible variegation called Genetic mosaicism, which is a phenomena where cells of different genetic load are present within the tissue of one plant. Not all variegated plants are chimeras; moreover, most cases of chimeras do not create symptoms visible to the naked eye.

Abnormal variegated tissue is mainly a sign for the inability of a tissue to produce chlorophyll. This can result in an overall slower growth rate.

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Control Measures

No need for control measures. The condition is not related to diseases, pests, or mineral deficiencies. It does not pose a threat to adjacent plants and cannot be fixed. The phenomena is rarely seen on commercial agricultural fields and chances of it passing on with seeds or grafting are low, as its nature depends on many variables.

Caution and careful notice should be taken when using any plant protection products (insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides). It is the grower’s sole responsibility to keep track of the legal uses and permissions with respect to the laws in their country and destination markets. Always read the instructions written on labels, and in a case of contradiction, work in accordance to the product label. Keep in mind that information written on the label usually applies to local markets. Pest control products intended for organic farming are generally considered to be less effective in comparison to conventional products. When dealing with organic, biologic, and to some extent a small number of conventional chemical products, a complete eradication of a pest or disease will often require several iterations of a specific treatment or combination of treatments.