Test of the effectiveness of white pollen as a male sterile

In the summer of 1981 families segregating yellow and white pollen plants (c2/c2, +/whp and c2/c2, whp/whp) were selfed. Ears recovered were shelled and the seed was weighed.

There were 108 yellow pollen plants selfed, which yielded 14,300 kernels ± 5%, all colorless as expected.

There were 50 white pollen plants selfed, which yielded 2 kernels: one colored and one colorless, adjacent to one another on one ear. The colored kernel must be a pollen contaminant or a back mutation. Both will be grown for genotype testing.

If yield from yellow pollen plants, selfed, is taken as an estimate of the number of potential functional gametes, then one "unlikely" kernel was set out of approximately 6,600 gametes tested.

On the other hand, the "screen" would successfully pass any functional pollen and often several pollen grains enter a single silk. Thus many more grains were tested in this experiment.

Stephen A. Modena

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

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