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One of my black eggplant is covered copiously in developing fruit, over 24. Funny thing is half of them are round and brown and the other half are the normal teardrop black.

Anyone have any idea why this might be?

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Those ladybird larvae have decimated the plant in two days. I should have blasted them off with the hose if I had seen them earlier.

but were they brown?

You mean mine?

No, the anomalies were deep purple with white stripes and had a rounder shape.

ah yes, that sounds right. pretty funky to get two different fruits on one plant!

 

had you saved the seeds? even so - it's unusual to get two phenotypes on one plant. interesting... pollen doesn't affect the fruit - only the seed. the mother plant should have one genetic type, and all of the fruit should usually be of that one type. ...

 

....so I looked up polyploidy in eggplants - i.e. multiple sets of chromosomes in one plant - and sure enough, they are prone to it, both naturally and because of human interference.

 

I guess there could be some variation in genetic expression within the one plant if it has multiple sets of chromosomes, allele swapping, and mixed gene dominance - but it's unusual. there could also be viral involvement - viruses can chop and replace sections of DNA, possibly affecting which phenotype is expressed in infected ovaries? anyway, it's unusual

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyploid

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genotype-phenotype_distinction

Very interesting, thanks! I've never thought about plants this way before - animals yes, but plants no...

I bought this plant from Bunnings. However I've finally managed to germinate some of its seeds so will wait to see what fruits are produced.

Wish I had taken a photo. At one stage, both phenotypes (cool word!) were adjacent to one another.

Ah, well I never did know that Ladybird larvae ate the plants. There's a Ladybird larvae field guide on the Brisbane Insects website and the link refers to the 28-spot which does chomp leaves at both stages of its life. The photos are quite good and could help to identify your leaf-chompers.

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