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Mericloning Paphs

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Bolero

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This may not be new information to everyone here but there is an orchid nursery here with the first ever mericloned Paph that they've developed.

I guess that means the inevitable 50,000 perfect Norito Hasegawa's hitting the show bench soon???? lol

I don't know why I'm so anti-mericloning but I am more attracted to paphs because of the uniqueness of each plant.

What do you think of this development?
 

Tony

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I agree that part of the charm of slippers is the variety. We get to see so many nice plants, and I would hate for them to go the way of Phals and Catts.
 

smartie2000

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I agree to that paphs are so unique and more valuable because they cannot be mericloned, well at least until now. How easy was the techinque used? It might not be that sucessful or accessible to everyone.
 
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Bolero

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True, only one plant has been cloned but I can't say how many plantlets have been created as a result.

I will investigate further and let you know. I must admit that the guy who did it is one of the great paph growers and is well known. I guess cloning was going to happen sooner or later.
 

Heather

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There's a thread around here somewhere by Robert Jan Quene about mericloning Phrags. From what I recall, it didn't sound as practical as one would think and he seemed to doubt that slippers would go the way of Phals. I cannot recall the details tho...

(personally, I am not in favor. Variety is the spice of life!)
 

carrilloenglish

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I agree.... completely.

Yes prince would drop significantly. But variety is part of a paph's mystique.

Not good news to me.

Christian
 

likespaphs

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i remember the thread mentioned. i tried to find it but couldn't...
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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I do remember the thread...I believe it also involved an argument with Pat Mahon.....I remember Steve Topletz telling me that he had worked out a method of easily mericloning paphs....haven't heard anything since. Now...is this real mericloning of an established clone? Or is it the cloning of seed grown plantletss, like those delanatii from OL? I for one would like to see mericloning...and I doubt that it would send paphs the way of phals.....for starters, paphs are just not that commercial. Everyone who knows nothing about orchids seems to love phals, and they are easily suited to home growing, at least for awhile. Slippers just don't have that appeal to non-orchid growers, and even among most orchids growers, they are frequently the least favorite plant. My local Home Depot always has a load of the usual phals and dends, sometimes cyms, oncidiums, and catt's. I have seen a grand total of 2 paphs sold there, ever.....Even my favorite plant shop in Chinatown has no more than half a dozen paphs and maybe 2 or 3 phrags at a time, as compared to dozens of every type of other orchid. For the newbie crowd at orchid shows who want to try slippers, there are tons of seed grown generic, homogeneous Maudiae type paphs and bessea hybrid phrags for cheap...I can't imagine mericloning to be cheaper than growing these guys from seed...but I would love to get a chance to get some of the great hybrid clones that are out of my financial reach now, and probably always will be...I have (rarely) splurged up to $50 for a great paph, but face it...with a family that is made up of teenagers and college kids, I can't afford to indulge a luxury orchid habit...The market for mericloned paphs, if it ever does develop, will never be for the mass market plants but for the select clones...The Winston Churchills, etc..that are old enough to be widespread in collections, but too expensive for most people. and they will not be cheap....just less expensive than divisions. I can't imagine anyone who owns a clone that sells for 1000's of dollars allowing their investment to be mass produced.....So count me in as someone who favors it..although, should it come to pass, I probably still won't be able to afford them.......Take care, Eric
 
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Bolero

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Paph F.C. Puddle FCC/RHS is the plant that's been cloned.

Not sure how many plants were created but I am pretty sure it's proper cloning. There are have been no deformities in the plants (unlike Odont hybrids).
 

gonewild

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Cloning of paphs will be good for commercial mass production growers (Asia) and have mixed effects on collectors and connoisseurs.

Once paphs are mericloned like phals they will become a commercial crop. The major limiting factor now is the time to bloom from seed and the ununiform growth between seedlings. It is just too costly for a commercial greenhouse to fill benches with seedlings and have them bloom one at a time and with so much genetic variation (duds? distorted genetics?). With tissue cultured plants the most vigorous and fastest blooming clones can be selected and tissued cultured. These selected plants should grow and bloom faster and at a uniform rate allowing the commercial grower to plan and time their production and have nearly every plant salable.

The most likely effect it would have on casual collectors is to make acquiring certain clones easier and cheaper. The effect it will have on connoisseurs will be frustrating. Liken it to art prints, some can afford original water colors and some can afford only prints.

To the breeders and hybridizers that are producing all the great crosses available now I think it will be devastating. Once paphs are cloned expect to see a lot of breeders disappear resulting in a lot less new hybrids to buy.

I personally don't want to see paphs tissue cultured. I like their uniqueness.
 

Jon in SW Ohio

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So I'm the only one who wants creme de la creme paph clones for inexpensive prices?? There are plenty of slippers out there I would absolutely love to have, but can't spend five figures on to own them.

If this is a connoiseur thing, it would be like high dollar Cattleyas are now. You can get a mericlone of the FCC rather inexpensive...but if you are a true colletor you can get a division of the original plant for top dollar. Genetically they may be identical, but which would you rather have if you had the money?

Jon
 

gonewild

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Jon in SW Ohio said:
So I'm the only one who wants creme de la creme paph clones for inexpensive prices?? There are plenty of slippers out there I would absolutely love to have, but can't spend five figures on to own them.
Heck no! inexpensive prices would be great. But with inexpensive prices you will see the number of new great things to have slowly (or fast) diminish. When the prices fall your favorite nurseries will no longer be able to afford to make the new crosses and grow them out.

If this is a connoiseur thing, it would be like high dollar Cattleyas are now. You can get a mericlone of the FCC rather inexpensive...but if you are a true colletor you can get a division of the original plant for top dollar. Genetically they may be identical, but which would you rather have if you had the money?
If I were a connoisseur I would not want either, I would look for something no one else could have. If I were me I would buy the mericlone even if I could afford the division.
 
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Bolero

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The thing with mericlones (and I see it a lot here with Cymbidiums) is that everyone has the latest one. It is hard to judge some plants as they are all very similar as most people here grow them in the same conditions and get similar results.

There is always one clear winner but there is no imagination in seeing 10 Valley Splash 'Awesome' on the show bench. I love paphs for their uniqueness and I will buy a seedling any day over a mericlone.
 

Rick

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I guess there is also the potential for "saving the species from extincton" if you could mass clone a single plant (like kovachii, or vietnamense), saturate the collectors market so that wild plants would only need to be rarely collected for genetic diversity needs. You would think that would blow a hole in the CITES folks.

But at this point there is probably not enough of a species collector market to make cloning economically viable.
 
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Bolero

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Rick said:
I guess there is also the potential for "saving the species from extincton" if you could mass clone a single plant (like kovachii, or vietnamense), saturate the collectors market so that wild plants would only need to be rarely collected for genetic diversity needs. You would think that would blow a hole in the CITES folks.

But at this point there is probably not enough of a species collector market to make cloning economically viable.
Good point about the saving species from extinction. That's an angle I hadn't considered and for that alone it would be worth it.
 

NYEric

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I dont think we will ever see award quality orchids massed produced but I think mericloning paphs would help make them more accessible and therefore more popular.
 

gonewild

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NYEric said:
I dont think we will ever see award quality orchids massed produced but I think mericloning paphs would help make them more accessible and therefore more popular.
Right, it won't be the "award" qualities that are selected for mass production, it will be production qualities.
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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Actually, the closest thing to "mass produced" slippers are the Maudiae paphs and bessea type phrags. these produce uniform offspiring, or, should I say, uniform in appearance..its true that they will not have uniform timetables, but I'm sure that large growers just cull out the slow bloomers anyway. I think that these will always be the closest thing that slipper growers have to the mass quantity phals.....they are fertile, and bloom in 2-3 years out of flask. the real commercial value of mericloned paphs will be with the complex types. Right now, complex crosses usually take at least a year or 2 longer to bloom than Maudiae types, and yield a vastly larger proportion of hideous, useless plants. For example, Winston Churchill is regarded as such a great parent...yet the majority of WC hybrids I have bought were ugly if not downright deformed. In fact, a WC selfing I grew was so hideous I just let it die after I bloomed it. For these growers, mericlones of even an average quality plant would be vastly preferable to the large quantity of money-losing seedlings produced in even a "good" cross. Of course, the value of mericloning to preserve endangered paph species has already been stated...and its value is even greater if used to clone the easiest growers and bloomers of the species. Take care, Eric
 

smartie2000

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Rick said:
I guess there is also the potential for "saving the species from extincton" if you could mass clone a single plant (like kovachii, or vietnamense), saturate the collectors market so that wild plants would only need to be rarely collected for genetic diversity needs. You would think that would blow a hole in the CITES folks.

But at this point there is probably not enough of a species collector market to make cloning economically viable.
Wouldn't just flasking the seeds of the rare plants saturate the markets same rate as mericloning anyways?
Do mericloned plants usually bloom eariler out of flask? I wouldn't think so, but I might be wrong. Cloning is not as economical in "saving the species from extinction" as just flasking seeds
 

smartie2000

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Paphs are never seen in supermarkets here. I get my plants through the internet. Everyone who sees a paph bloom, even a Paph maudiae, thinks its really rare. I like that feeling :D It makes me feel special. People close to me to me are growing the mericloned phals & catts and they have no clue where I got my slippers. If paphs are mass produced to the point that they are disposable plants, i am no longer special. Hehe I too used to think all slippers were rare when I was younger.

I have a feeling they will never reach the same level of mass production as phals, so i'm not too worried. If they were easy to mass produce, it already would have been done. I'm sure that there are many ways of cloning plants, but not all of them are accessible.
 

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