Dingy pericarp color as a complication to the breeding and use of the y ms system to eliminate detasseling

The photoelectric separation of white and yellow kernels in order to obtain a progeny of all male sterile plants from the white kernels depends on a reliable separation of the two kernel colors. Unfortunately, certain of the early sweet corn inbreds (C3 and C13) are like certain of the New England flints (Wilburs, Narraganset), in having a dingy pericarp color that obscures a clear-cut definition of mature white and yellow kernels. The obvious solution is to breed out the hindering pericarp color so that the phenotype of y is a snow white rather than a dingy or dirty white. The separation of white and yellow kernels may be further enhanced by the incorporation of orange aleurone and the elimination of any genes for pale or lemon yellow endosperm.

Walton C. Galinat

Please Note: Notes submitted to the Maize Genetics Cooperation Newsletter may be cited only with consent of the authors.

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