Sunday, 25 January 2015 07:45

Cellular Virescent Green

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This type of albino redwood is one of the most elusive of all the different albino redwood types. Appearing almost identical to a white basal albino, the Cellular Virescent Green mutation is almost invisible to the naked eye. Looking close you will see tiny rows of green cells photosynthesizing normally within the albino redwood foliage. Mostly appearing on needles as thin green strips, these cells are just a few layers wide making them very difficult to spot.  What’s interesting about the Cellular Virescent Green albino is that they tell us not all cells within this genotype have mutated. In the picture below can you spot how many needles exhibit the cellular virescent green characteristic?

 Because Cellular Virescent Green albinos appear very similar to white albinos, their exact numbers remain unknown. Further complicating the question is at times green cells within this mutation can disappear and reappear. Interestingly it has been observed during the recent drought that many albinos once thought to be the pure white variety are now the cellular virescent green type. It believed that Cellular Virescent Green albinos are closely related to Non-Chimeric Variegated albino redwood. More research will need to be conducted to better understand what is occurring within these trees and how it relates to environmental changes.

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Its when we put these needles under the microscope that we get a better understanding of how the green cells are organized within the needles.  In this particular case, the green cells are on the outermost layer of the leaf.

 

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