How many characteristics of roses' pheno and genotype?

Okay, this may sound very stupid (at least to me) and hopefully you can understand. How many traits do roses have? I mean, what is the tally of rose characteristics: thorns, habbit, flower size, fragrance, certain colors, etc,. Now this sounds funny, but please-- I’ve studied genetics for a little while ago-- Does each gene count as a single trait? Hopefully some of you understand me. My way of thinking right now is that there if a tetraploid has 28 genes, there are 28 characteristics, psycially and genetically. I await for an answer, I am really intrested to learn.


Tetraploid roses have 28 chromosomes (14 pairs). Each chromosome may contain hundreds or even thousands of genes. Some phenotypic traits can be traced to a single gene. For example, Dr. Basye’s dominant thornless gene. But for most traits, there isn’t a one-to-one correspondence between genes and traits. One gene may affect many traits, and one trait may be affected by many genes.

Human beings have 30,000 to 40,000 genes. Plants can have many more genes than human beings.


If only it were that simple…but a tetraploid rose has 28 chromosomes and each chromosome contains an enormous amount of genetic information (genes). Often the expressed traits are influenced by several or even many different genes. Some genes effect many different traits of an organism all at once. For instance a gene in foxes can effect coat color and temperment at the same time. I guess the bottom-line is that no matter how easy and predictable, the “experts” can make genetics seem,…Mother Nature always has more twists to reveal. I hope you don’t let all the unknown, deter you from learning more and contributing to the known.

Karl King’s “CYBEROSE” website has all kinds of interesting info about genetics on it, although some of it is definitely “basic” stuff. Hope this helps in some way.

Oops! Looks like Jim beat me to the answer. It’s kinda spooky. Anyway I was just going to correct that last sentence…I meant to say definitely NOT basic

That’s all.

Hey Tom - great minds think alike! I wanted to add that even though the human genome has been sequenced, scientists don’t agree on how many genes it contains. The first plant genomes to be sequenced are Arabidopsis thaliana and rice. Many others are sure to follow. It seems that great advances in genetics are just around the corner.

Here is a page that says that flowering plants often have over 400,000 genes:


Many genes are silent that is have no known role.

Many/most diploid living beings apparently have more genes than needed. Often a lot.

Polyploids even more.