Vegetative vs. floral shoot proliferation and perennialism

Perennial shoots and multi-ranked spikelets tend to be mutually exclusive as if they were a regulatory choice between early and late proliferation plus apical dominance. That is, strong perennialism (vegetative proliferation) appears to exclude a large many-rowed ear (floral proliferation). Weak and unstable proliferation may co-exist in both vegetative and floral regions. The suggestion is that the effect of the corn background may account in part for the different results on studies of the inheritance of perennialism. If perennialism is mutually exclusive with agronomic ear development, attempts to breed a perennial grain corn would be futile.

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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