The dek mutants - new mutants defective in kernel development

We are continuing the characterization of a large collection of EMS induced defective kernel (dek) mutants. All mutants of this type are defective in both their embryo and endosperm development. Most of these mutants are lethal because of inviability when tested as mature kernels, but a few have a mutant seedling phenotype. The pleiotropic nature of the defective kernel mutants is also expressed, in some cases, by an alteration of the carotenoid and anthocyanin synthesis in the kernels. The culturing of immature mutant embryos has revealed a wide range of mutant seedling phenotypes, as well as the occurrence of normal appearing seedlings in some cases. Our previous note (Neuffer and Sheridan, MNL 55:29-30, 1981) reported on the characteristics of 15 dek mutants and assigned dek numbers to each of them. This list is expanded below to include 21 mutants representing all of the chromosome arms except 7S and 8S. Since our published reports (Neuffer and Sheridan, Genetics 95:929-944, 1980; Sheridan and Neuffer, Genetics 95:945-960, 1980 and J. Heredity 73:318-329, 1982) referred to these mutants by their E number, a laboratory designation, this number is included in the Table.


Efforts are underway or are soon to be initiated for mapping these mutants. The mutants have been transferred from the original genetic stocks in which they were isolated to a large-embryo strain (Alexander's high oil), and some of them have been transferred to Black Mexican sweet corn as well as to an early maturing genetic stock. We will be pleased to share these mutants with other investigators.

William F. Sheridan, Ming Tang Chang and M. Gerald Neuffer

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

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