Perspectives of using tb in maize breeding and seed production

The mutant teosinte branched (tb) possesses some characters that are necessary for pollinators: a long flowering period of apical and lateral male inflorescences and high pollen productivity. To examine the possibilities of using this mutant in maize breeding and seed production for some elite lines which are used as male parents, versions segregating 1:1 for normal and tb plants were developed. For a few lines versions consisting of only tb plants were obtained. Using the normal and tb plants as male components in hybridization, two versions of the hybrids were developed: heterozygous (Tb tb) and normal (Tb Tb).

During 1978-1982, 44 hybrids were produced and evaluated for the most significant economic and biological characters (see Table). For the main morphological characters no essential differences between the normal and heterozygous counterparts were revealed. There were also no clear cut differences between the counterparts in the vegetation period. Heterozygous hybrids formed more ears and tillers than their normal versions. As a rule average productivity of heterozygous hybrids was equal to normal and only in 1979 did some of the heterozygous versions outyield the normal ones. Thus, it is clear cut that heterozygosis for Tb tb does not affect the main morphological and economical characters of hybrids.

The studies we have carried out give perspective to the possibility of using male tb lines or lines segregating 1:1 as pollinators in maize seed production.


V. E. Micu and T. A. Solonenko

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

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