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Burbank, Luther, 1849-1926 / Luther Burbank: his methods and discoveries and their practical application
(1914)

[Luther Burbank -- the bearing of his work on human life -- on improving the human plant],   pp. [202]-246 PDF (10.0 MB)


Page 229

IMPROVING THE HUMAN PLANT
That such mixing of racial strains, within cer-
tain limitations, is likely to result in the develop-
ment of exceptional individuals will not be doubted
by any student of the subject, least of all by the
plant developer who has produced striking results
by a corresponding mingling of divergent types.
But, on the other hand, it cannot escape atten-
tion that there are limits of crossbreeding beyond
which the plant developer may not advantageously
go. If he attempts to combine species of plants
that are too widely divergent, he either gets no
result or produces inferior progeny. And if the
races that are crossed lie just at the limits of
affinity, he may produce a progeny, that, particu-
larly in the second and later generations, become
so variable and diversified as to run counter in the
main to all of his plans and expectations.
We have seen this illustrated in many cases-
witness, for instance, the crossing of the tobacco
and the petunia, of the European and Chinese
quinces, of the oriental and opium poppies, and of
the various members of the genus Rubus.
THE NEED OF SELECTION
In some of these cases, to be sure, individual
forms were produced that had very exceptional
interest and that might even supply material highly
prized by the plant developer for the production
of new races.
[229]


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