Gaspe - Mo17 hybrids: life cycle

A Gaspe flint line obtained from Dennis Hourcade (Monsanto) is 12-18 inches tall and has a short life cycle (dry kernel-dry kernel) of 35-50 days. The shorter cycle is obtained at growth temperatures of 90-95F and the longer cycle when grown at 85F Fertility of Gaspe is generally low, ear shoot bags block ear development and when grown in soil, the ears rot, perhaps due to their location at base of plant. Growth in soil-less medium at top of pots (vermiculite or perlite) prevents ear rot.

When Gaspe is crossed with Mo17 (maternal parent) the life cycle and stature of plants is intermediate to that of the 2 parents. A backcross of a Mo17/Gaspe (maternal) with Gaspe resulted in plants very similar to Gaspe with respect to lifespan and the number of leaves (7 or 8), but with much higher fertility and somewhat larger plants. When grown under field conditions and with ear shoot bags, approximately 1/3 of this material developed ears with very good seed set. These all had ears several inches above soil level. In the case of ears near the soil, all rotted in the field.

M. Polacco

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

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