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Maternal inheritance in the four-o'clock plant.

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The genes for green pigment synthesis in plants are part of the chloroplast genome. The white phenotype in four o'clocks is due to chloroplasts with a mutant allele that greatly reduces green pigment production. The variegated phenotype is due to a mixture of normal and mutant chloroplasts. In four o'clocks, the egg contains all the plastids that are inherited by the offspring, so the phenotype of the offspring is determined by the female parent.
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