Effects of Cross and Self Fertilisation in the Vegetable Kingdom eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 459 pages of information about Effects of Cross and Self Fertilisation in the Vegetable Kingdom.

In the three generations now described and taken together, the average height of the ten tallest crossed plants was 8.19 inches, and that of the ten tallest self-fertilised plants 5.29 inches (the plants having been grown in small pots), or as 100 to 65.

In the next or fourth self-fertilised generation, several plants of a new and tall variety appeared, which increased in the later self-fertilised generations, owing to its great self-fertility, to the complete exclusion of the original kinds.  The same variety also appeared amongst the crossed plants, but as it was not at first regarded with any particular attention, I know not how far it was used for raising the intercrossed plants; and in the later crossed generations it was rarely present.  Owing to the appearance of this tall variety, the comparison of the crossed and self-fertilised plants of the fifth and succeeding generations was rendered unfair, as all the self-fertilised and only a few or none of the crossed plants consisted of it.  Nevertheless, the results of the later experiments are in some respects well worth giving.

CROSSED AND SELF-FERTILISED PLANTS OF THE FOURTH GENERATION.

Seeds of the two kinds, produced in the usual way from the two sets of plants of the third generation, were sown on opposite sides of two pots (1 and 2); but the seedlings were not thinned enough and did not grow well.  Many of the self-fertilised plants, especially in one of the pots, consisted of the new and tall variety above referred to, which bore large and almost white flowers marked with crimson blotches.  I will call it the white variety.  I believe that it first appeared amongst both the crossed and self-fertilised plants of the last generation; but neither my gardener nor myself could remember any such variety in the seedlings raised from the purchased seed.  It must therefore have arisen either through ordinary variation, or, judging from its appearance amongst both the crossed and self-fertilised plants, more probably through reversion to a formerly existing variety.

In Pot 1 the tallest crossed plant was 8 1/2 inches, and the tallest self-fertilised 5 inches in height.  In Pot 2, the tallest crossed plant was 6 1/2 inches, and the tallest self-fertilised plant, which consisted of the white variety, 7 inches in height; and this was the first instance in my experiments on Mimulus in which the tallest self-fertilised plant exceeded the tallest crossed.  Nevertheless, the two tallest crossed plants taken together were to the two tallest self-fertilised plants in height as 100 to 80.  As yet the crossed plants were superior to the self-fertilised in fertility; for twelve flowers on the crossed plants were crossed and yielded ten capsules, the seeds of which weighed 1.71 grain.  Twenty flowers on the self-fertilised plants were self-fertilised, and produced fifteen capsules, all appearing poor; and the seeds from ten of them weighed only .68 grain, so that from an equal number of capsules the crossed seeds were to the self-fertilised in weight as 100 to 40.

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Effects of Cross and Self Fertilisation in the Vegetable Kingdom from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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