EMS-induced red cob mutants

--V. K. Chaudhary and J. L. Minocha

Among the eighteen different treatments of EMS, EB and SM given, the treatment of EMS (0.1%) for 72 hrs at 5±1 C produced two red cob variants out of a total of 299 plants in M2 generation. This was further analysed in later generations. After selfing in M2, it was observed as almost breeding true in M3 and subsequent generations. Out of 500 seeds sown in the field, 460 surviving plants produced red cob mutants in the next generation. In the later generations when tested, this mutant bred true, giving red cob characteristics. The mutant has red cob and the tip of the grain had a red coloured tinge. There was purple lining at the base of each floret in its inflorescence. This characteristic of purple lining at the base of each floret was of use in identifying the plants with the red cob characteristic quite in advance. Such mutants can be used as genetic markers in genetic studies. Results indicated that the purple lining at the base of each floret in the tassel is associated with the red cob colour. The red cob colour has been earlier reported to be associated with brown tassel colour (Coe, MNL 57:33-34).

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