The persistence of lethal genes in maize populations due to natural selection was reported (Salerno et al., IAEA, Austria, 1981). Two maize populations were selected for presence or absence of chlorophyll lethals. Then they were maintained during 4 generations by open pollination. At the same time, these populations were taken to the yield trial, using the original populations as a check. The grain yield during the 4 generations revealed that the populations selected for presence of chlorophyll lethals had a higher yield than either the populations selected for absence of chlorophyll lethals or the original populations. Preliminary results would suggest the usefulness of these compounds as a potential alternative in breeding procedures.
Juan C. Salerno
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