Kernel interlocking (tesselation) resulting from cupule reduction

Because the dry kernels of sweet corn wrinkle at maturity, they are coadaptive with a soft cob with reduced cupules. By introducing genes for the noncupulate condition into high row sweet corn, the kernel row number was reduced by half as the adjoining members of different pairs interlocked. A 24-rowed ear became 12-rowed and a 20-rowed ear 10-rowed. Apparently, some minimal degree of cupule development is necessary in sweet corn in order to maintain the desired high kernel row numbers. For the purpose of quality seed production, it may in cases of extremely high kernel row numbers (24 to 30) be advantageous to use interlocking to allow better seed development. Cupule development together with expression of the high kernel row number would be restored to the hybrid from the other parent.

Walton C. Galinat

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

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