Classification of red vs. white cob by tassel color

Red vs. white cob color (P-WR vs. P-WW) is expressed in other tissues besides the glumes of the cob. Brick-red color in dry husks is associated with cob color and can be used for classification without harvesting. Association of brown color in the tassel at flowering time has been checked during the past summer. The following F2 progenies, segregating for P-WR/P-WW, were scored for color in the tassel at flowering time, and for cob color at harvest:


The separation is good but not perfect; perhaps a more careful examination of the tassels would be needed, or the expression is marginal. The brown color in the tassel is the faint, yellow brown that is familiarly seen in tassel glumes, especially in the hyaline margins of the glumes.

Undoubtedly others have noticed this correlation, but a few inquiries suggest that it is not widely recognized or used. It should be helpful to be able to distinguish red-cob from white-cob individuals at flowering time, either for genetic purposes or for breeding purposes.

E. H. Coe

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

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