Twenty years ago or so, I was talking with Tom Liggett after he returned from a visit with Ralph Moore. Tom held up a bloom of ‘Grey Pearl’ and told me that Ralph told him the color is due to a double recessive. That didn’t make any particular sense to me, so I let it slide.
Recently I uploaded an article on moss and minis that Moore chose to publish in the anti-science Creation Research Quarterly. Among other things, he wanted to share this “theory”.
So called “blue roses” are merely those in which the magenta has the ascendancy. Lavender color apparently is produced by the combination of magenta and yellow. Some will doubt this, but about 15 years ago in a conversation, I told Dr. Nisbet, then editor for the American Rose Society, that I believed such to be the case. A check of the pedigree of so called lavender roses will show that this is true.
That’s not true, by the way, but his belief still puzzled me.
Then I went back to re-proof and re-edit some of Lammerts’ articles. There it is, in the References:
Mehlquist, G. A. L. “Inheritance in the carnation, Dianthus caryophyllus” 1. Inheritance of flower color, Proc. Amer. Cos. Hort Sci. 37: 1019-1021, 1940
Lammerts assumed that the inheritance of flower color in roses works the same as it does in carnations. It does not. In carnations, the ivory and yellow shades involve various fancy flavonols and flavones that are not found in roses. The yellow of roses is carotene, to the contrary, located in the plastids rather than mixed in the vacuole with the water soluble pigments.
That’s confusing Apples and Oranges.
I first became disenchanted with Lammerts’ articles when I found that the diploid roses exhibit the same degrees of doubleness that Lammerts tried to explain by different doses of a “doubling gene”. Tetraploids might have as many as four copies of such a hypothetical gene. But if the same explanation cannot apply to diploids, which were parents of the tetraploids, then the his speculative model must be wrong.
The second clue came while I was scanning and proofing his articles years ago. In 1960 he claimed that the genotype of ‘Chrysler Imperial’ is MMMm. But in 1964 assigned MMmm to the same rose. This makes it pretty clear that he reverse engineered the (alleged) genotypes in order to “predict” the results he had already obtained in breeding.
The quadrivalent inheritance he described is rather dubious. I have read that Dahlia variabilis manages such a regular quadrivalent meiosis, but that species is rather peculiar. In roses, associations of four chromosomes during meiosis usually reduce fertility.
In conclusion, Lammerts concocted a very doubtful reproductive mechanism, and assigned “genotypes” to the parents of his crosses, in order to reconcile color inheritance in roses with the very different system found in carnations.