Treasure Your Exceptions

  • Peter S. Carlson
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 32)


In 1908, William Bateson admonished his fellow geneticists to “Treasure your exceptions! When there are none, the work gets so dull that no one cares to carry it further. Keep them always uncovered and in sight. Exceptions are like the rough brickwork of a growing building which tells that there is more to come and shows where the next construction is to be.” From the time of Mendel, the recovery, characterization, and analysis of variability has played a central role in establishing the axioms and assumptions within which geneticists continue to view the world. Visually identifiable traits have been collected and named by geneticists for over a century. Among the characters which have been collected and named are included variants affecting plant color such as albina, xantha, and viridis types, and variants affecting plant morphology such as erectoides, speltoids, and dwarfism. Geneticists have developed methods to produce variants de novo, further characterizing them as macro, micro, or pseudoallic. By following the transmission of this variability, various modes of plant reproduction were defined including apomixis, allomixis, and automixis. Variant types were taxonomically differentiated in categories: the amorphs, hypomorphs, hypermorphs, antimorphs, and neomorphs.


Plant Cell Culture Carbon Dioxide Production Ethanol Tolerance Amino Acid Analog Plant Molecular Biology Reporter 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter S. Carlson
    • 1
  1. 1.Crop Genetics International N.V.DorseyUSA

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