I have several Rugelda seedlings with leaves like this. The small one is a James Gallway seedling. It looks like the older leaves on the Rugelda seedlings are greening up, waiting to see. I had read on here about albinos, is that what these pale yellow leaves are, or is there some problem causing this? Any experience with this in other seedlings? Do Rugelda seedlings tend toward this? (There are only three in maybe three dozen.) But James Gallway is the only other one to produce a seedling like this.
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!
Not albinos at all but possibly expression variants for chlorophylls. The chlorosynthesis pathways are complex with plenty of opportunity for mutations affecting chlorophyll levels and ratios. They are yellow enough that there might even be some carotenoids present which share some of the same biochemistry. I also find interesting the anthocyanins at the fringes. These could be a sign of things to come in the flowers, take care of them.
This sort of coloring is called virescence. I found an analogous case, not quite identical, in cotton.
Journal of Heredity, 58(5): 237–239 (1 Sept 1967)
Inheritance and Use of Golden Crown Virescence in Cotton: And its relationship to other virescent stocks
E. N. DUNCAN, J. B. PATE
A golden-colored seedling was noted in an increase field of the commercial cotton variety, Cobal (Gossypium hirsutum L.) at Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1951. The plant color was very striking through the preblooming stage and easily distinguishable from normal green cotton plants. Subsequent observations revealed that the golden color disappeared almost entirely as leaves reached maturity, but new growth continued to exhibit the golden color throughout the growing season. This pattern of chlorophyll development as the leaves mature, appears to be a case of true virescence. The condition was therefore, designated golden crown virescent to denote the color of the new growth and the subsequent greening of the leaf tissue as it matured.
Inheritance and Use of Golden Crown Virescence in Cotton | Journal of Heredity | Oxford Academic
If your plant maintains its habit of starting pale, it might be an interesting novelty … and probably less prone to weakness than the more familiar sort of variegations.
Oh, and if it proves to be hereditary, you could mate it with another variety that starts out with strongly red-tinted new growth. Picture it: bright red leaves gradually darkening and then changing to green as the red pigment fades.
Is this virescence fairly common then? I think I have three Rugelda seedlings like that (or could it be something in the genetics of the cross made). Still waiting on the smaller one (James Gallway) to develop true leaves. It would be neat to have a plant that starts gold and changes to yellow. I have a fair number of seedlings that are starting a dark red purple and changing to green: maybe an interesting cross later if they are fertile.
Hmmm. Are you sure you don’t mean viridescence?
I quoted the title of the article directly.
“Inheritance and Use of Golden Crown Virescence in Cotton: And its relationship to other virescent stocks”
Some years back I found a virescent Chilicothe growing at Casper’s Wilderness Park.
Give me a few minutes and I’ll add some pictures to that document of virescent tobacco growing in Kentucky, This looks like ordinary tobacco until around mid-summer when the new leaves produced are bright yellow (photoperiod?). Subsequently, the older leaves shed their green color and become as yellow as the new growth. The lack of chlorophyll reduces sugar production, of course, and this cigarette tobacco is not as sweet as some kinds of cigar and pipe tobacco.
thought I would post an update on this seedling. The one from James Gallway (shown) died. But the two from Rugelda survived.
I’ll try to attach a picture of the more colorful one. THough it has yet to bloom.