A group of new mutants defective in kernel development--the dek mutants

During the last several years we have examined a large collection of EMS-induced mutants all of which are disturbed in their endosperm and embryo development. We have referred to these as defective kernel mutants as a generalization of the defective seed and germless terms of D. F. Jones (1920) and M. Demerec (1923) and we have reported on some of their genetic and morphological characteristics (M. G. Neuffer and W. F. Sheridan, 1980, Genetics 95:929-944; W. F. Sheridan and M. G. Neuffer, 1980, Genetics 95:945-960). The defective kernel mutants are designated by the gene symbol dek. Listed below are 15 dek mutants with their chromosome arm location and certain other characteristics. These mutants have been referred to in our previous communications by reference to the E number, a laboratory designation; this E number is included below.
Symbol E No. Chrom. arm Mature kernel pheno. Lethality or seedling phenotype Culture phenotype Carot. synth.**  Antho. synth. 
dek1 792 1S clf L - B B
dek2 1315A 1L dsc scr L gr N -
dek3 1289 2S gm L w-gs N -
dek4 1024A 2L cp fl L gr-nl N N
dek5 874A 3S sh w-gs* w-gs N N
dek6 627D K o sh L n N -
dek7 211C 4S sh su gs w-gs N N
dek8 1156A 4L sh ? gr-sml N -
dek9 1365 5L crp L gr dil dil
dek10 1176A 6L cp L gr-crl-stb N N
dek11 788 7L et L - N N
dek12 873 9s cp L gr-nl-crl N N
dek13 744 9L de o L pg-gs N N
dek14 1435 10S cp L A N  
dek15 1427A 10L cp fl L gr N N

*w, white; gs, green striped. **B, blocked; N, normal; dil, dilute; -, undetermined.

Note that the mutant dek1 (E792) was first described by Neuffer (1977) and designated as clf and was subsequently termed gay by Dooner (MGNL 54:79). Additional details on the above mutants as well as the definitions of the abbreviations used above are presented in Neuffer and Sheridan (1980) and Sheridan and Neuffer (1980).

These 15 mutants are clearly non-allelic inasmuch as they are located on 15 different chromosome arms. Among our collection of defective kernel mutants are many that have been located to these same chromosome arms. Allelism tests are in progress and those mutants that prove to be non-allelic will be given dek number designations, i.e., dek16, dek17, etc.

We have begun to transfer the above dek mutants from the original genetic stocks in which they were isolated to a large-embryo strain (Alexander's high oil) and also to Black Mexican sweet corn. We will be pleased to share these mutants with other investigators.

M. G. Neuffer and William F. Sheridan

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

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