Ian Smith HortiCulture
DNA FINGERPRINTING AND PLANT IDENTIFICATION
Unfortunately, due to irregularities in the initial registration under the fledgling South African
PVR registration authority, the registration was challenged in Europe and
overturned.Amateur Canna enthusiasts confused the issue by claiming that the Tropicanna
form was named Durban, however, the true Durban had red flowers whereas Tropicanna had
orange flowers. DNA fingerprinting conducted by a prominent Australian University, as
expected, clearly showed a difference between Tropicanna and Durban and other
Tropicanna Gold (Mactro) was also compared using DNA with various green/gold forms of
canna collected from several sources in Europe, USA, New Zealand and Australia. These
results showed Tropicanna Gold was different to the available forms of green/gold canna and
supported the macro comparisons made between plants based on foliage, flower and form.
Tropicanna Gold PVR registration was challenged in Europe, however, test results from the
comparisons made by the Community Plant Variety Office's own testing station showed that
Tropicanna Gold was different from the closest comparator.
Tropicanna Black (Lon01) has also been subjected to DNA fingerprinting and has been shown
to be different from available comparators.
The use of DNA fingerprinting in identifying horticultural plant cultivars is becoming more
widespread and is likely to have a significant role in determining differences between similar
Use of DNA to distinguish between Canna cultivars.
The use of DNA Fingerprinting on plants has increased significantly over recent years.
With the refinement of techniques and the wider acceptance of the results, it is now a
useful tool in the identification of new cultivars.
Most new Canna selections have
resulted from chance findings of
sports or seedlings of unknown
parentage. This, plus the tendency
of amateur Canna enthusiasts and
some commercial nurseries to
rename selections has led to
uncertainty in Canna naming.
Canna phasion cv. Tropicanna
was originally sourced in South
Africa and subsequently
registered under Plant Variety