Progeny of plants regenerated from callus cultures of W182BN demonstrated interesting and potentially useful somaclonal variation. The variants can be assigned to several different categories:
1) Mutant phenotypes such as brachytics, dwarfs, virescents, seedling lethals, leaf splotch mutants and others that resemble traditional single gene mutants. Most of these appear to involve single recessive mutations. Some appear to be single dominant mutants.
2) Variations in plant size and vigor, plant height, ear height, number of ears, number of tillers and plant color were also observed. Some of these variant lines have been selfed to a homozygous state and are promising as good, vigorous, healthy inbred lines. Several of these have been tested in hybrid combinations. Their performance was outstanding. Additional testing will be conducted this year.
3) Variation in cytoplasmic male sterility has also been observed. This included reversions from cms-S sterility to fertility, apparent nuclear mutations to fertility restoration, and the origin of cytoplasmic male sterility from non-male-sterile callus cultures.
Further characterization of these somaclonal variants is in progress, and publications describing the techniques and results are in press.
E. D. Earle and V. E. Gracen
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