Maize anther culture

During the summer of 1980 we plated about 13,800 anthers from nine different maize genotypes. The genotypes CH1, CH2 and CH3 are derived from three Chinese hybrids (they were supplied by Dr. Rives following a visit to this country where they were reported as giving a good ability to anther culture). We used two media constituted with the inorganic salts of the N6 or Yu-Pei media complemented with glycine (2 mg/l), thiamin (1 mg/l), pyridoxine (0.5 mg/l), nicotinic acid (0.5 mg/l), casein hydrolysate (500 mg/l), activated charcoal (5 g/l), proline (100 mg/l), sucrose (120 g/l), TIBA (0.1 mg/l); pH was adjusted to 5.8-6 before autoclaving, with NaOH 0.1 N. The anthers were plated at about the middle uninucleate stage. The dishes were incubated at 26-28 C under light of 50 watt/m2 (16 hour day).

The results are given in the table. The calluses and embryoids obtained were transferred onto the Green medium complemented with P.C.A. at 0.25 mg/l. On this medium only one embryo developed into a young plantlet, which was diploid. Following this regeneration we obtained 3 kernels on the tassel, which was a mixture of male and female flowers.


Our production of embryoid or calluses is poor in comparison with the work of Nitsch (MGCNL 54) or Brettell, but we hope that with the action of some inductor factors such as heat or cold, it will be improved. We think that before using this technique routinely to get a mass of homozygous lines we have to do a strong effort to improve the percentage of callus and embryoid formation. Before it will be possible to use this technique on a large scale to obtain numerous homozygous lines, considerable work will be necessary to improve the callus percentage and embryoid formation.

Michel Beckert, Maurice Pollacsek and Ming Quing Cao

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

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