Inheritance of trapped-silk trait

We observed silk strands "trapped" in the outer perimeter of the cob upon breaking a mature ear of inbred line Mo17 into two halves. Subsequently, we examined ears of certain other inbred lines and did not observe this characteristic. Here, we report preliminary results of a study of this trait. The genotypes used in this study are listed in Table 1.

All the genotypes were grown in one-row plots (13 plants per plot) with the exception of the two backcrosses in set 1 which had two rows each, and were allowed to open-pollinate. Usable ears were harvested and examined for trapped silks. Data on total number of ears observed per genotype, % ears with all normal silk channels and with trapped-silk channels, and average % trapped-silk channels per ear are given in Table 1. All the observed ears of both Mo17 and Oh545 had trapped-silk channels, the average % trapped-silk channels per ear being 100% and 29%, respectively. This may be explained by the fact that both Mo17 and Oh545 are related through C.I. 187-2 parentage.

In set 1, data on N104 x Mo17 and the reciprocal cross Mo17 x N104 indicated no reciprocal effect for this trait. Sets 1, 2, 3, and 5 showed an increasing dosage effect for average % trapped-silk channels per ear as the genetic complement of Mo17 increased, with the exception of Mo17 x N28, which had a lower value than that of N28(Mo17 x N28). However, in all cases the percentage of ears with trapped-silk channels increased additively with increased dosages of Mo17.

In set 4, all the ears of both the inbreds involved, the F1 cross, and both backcrosses showed trapped-silk channels. Average % trapped-silk channels per ear was the highest for Mo17 x Oh545 when compared with the other F1 crosses.

The data on the average % trapped-silk channels per ear in relation to the genetic complement of Mo17 are shown in Figure 1. Preliminary indications are that the trapped-silk trait is quantitatively inherited. Further studies are needed to verify these results with a larger sample size and to determine the anatomical development of this trait. The benefit of this trait to a genotype is not known at this time.

Table 1.

Figure 1.

M. S. Kang and M. S. Zuber

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

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