Studies on a somatically unstable line

A maize ear isolated locally (by Poornima Rao) showing somatic instability for anthocyanin pigmentation in the aleurone tissue (purple dots and sectors), which is indicative of the presence of transposable elements, has been grown for two generations. Self-pollinated progenies of this ear showed unusual segregation for endosperm and plant characters. The following mutations have been isolated from this unstable line.

Chlorophyll mutations: High frequency of chlorophyll mutation has been observed in selfed progenies. Nearly 44 selfed ears showed abnormal segregation for yellowish green, virescent, japonica, zebra stripes and albino. A few of the yellowish green mutants are breeding true.

Opaque/floury: Nearly 6 out of 803 selfed ears showed sectors of varying sizes of opaque/floury phenotypes. In two cases a few kernels had fully opaque phenotype.

Shrunken: In the first generation, one ear showed few kernels (4 out of 152) with shrunken-like phenotype.

These shrunken kernels bred true, but the expression of shrunken phenotype was varying from near shrunken to hollow endosperm. Ears derived from non-shrunken kernels from the same line showed shrunken sectors of varying sizes. Three more shrunken-like mutations have been isolated from 803 selfed ears in the second generation.

Instability in the aleurone tissue: Instability for anthocyanin pigmentation was also observed in the second generation.

These mutations are being studied for their breeding behaviour and allelism tests. Studies on the presence of Mutator element will be undertaken with the help of Mu and Ac clones.

Snehlata B. Allagikar, S.E. Pawar, and N.K. Notani

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

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