James and the Giant Corn Genetics: Studying the Source Code of Nature

March 11, 2010

Chromosomes and Ploidy at PATSP

Filed under: Link Posts — James @ 10:09 am

Mr Subjunctive who writes a really fun site for plant lovers and amateur to professional horticulturalists (who I’m pretty sure are also plant lovers or they would have gone into another field), set out to write a post on Phalaenopsis (a kind of orchid*).

I started this off with really good intentions, but quickly wound up on weird tangents, and then some of the tangents had tangents, and then at some point I looked up and saw that I’d written 2000 words without ever getting to how you’re supposed to take care of them. So if you’re here to find out how to actually grow Phalaenopsis, you’ll want to skip on ahead to Part II (which will post next Wednesday). Otherwise, read on.

Briefly, he covers chromosomes, the sex chromosomes of humans, weird changes in chromosomes numbers from changes in ploidy (have one or more extra copies of each chromosome) and aneuploidy (having more or less copies of individual chromosomes than normal) and some of the advantages and disadvantages of working with such plants. All while staying easily readable (something I can never seem to do once I get into talking about science).

Anyway, the point of this entry can be summed up in two words:

Go. Read.

And if you like it, check out his List: House Plants You’ll Be Growing During the Zombie Apocalypse of 2014

*Orchids are monocots (the group of species that grasses also belong to, along with pineapples, bananas and all sorts of other cool plants), so I start out biased in their favor.


  1. mr_s beat you in last week’s plant puzzler, but I loved your answer so I gave you extra credit points. Thanks for playing!

    Comment by Liza — March 12, 2010 @ 9:07 am

  2. Haha. When it comes to plants, losing a battle of bits to mr subjunctive is no shame at all.

    Comment by James — March 12, 2010 @ 9:11 am

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