More studies on anther culture

--Y. C. Ting and A. H. Mu

During the last year, 44 cultivars and hybrids were employed for anther culture. More than 60,000 anthers were inoculated on Zheng-14 medium (Ting et al., 1981). The anthers of five hybrids, Ch91, Ch92, Ch93, Ch94 and Ch96, responded positively to culturing by growing into embryoids or calli, or both. The percent of responses varied from 2.9 such as for Ch92 (2.3% + 0.6%) to 18.7 such as for Ch96 (18.6% + 0.1%). This is shown in Table 1. Eleven of the remaining 39 cultivars and hybrids also responded favorably but only at a low frequency, on an average of less than 1 percent.

Table 1. Different responses of anthers of five corn hybrids to Zheng-14 medium during the years 1987- 1988.
Hybrids No.Anthers Inoculated Embryoid % Callus (%)
Ch91 1640 212 (12.9) 9(0.5)
Ch92 1515 35 (2.3) 10(0.6)
Ch93 305 31 (11.4) 7(2.2)
Ch94 930 102 (10.9) 15(1.6)
Ch96 2545 474 (18.6) 3(0.1 )
TOTAL 6935 854 (12.3) 44(0.6)

Upon transferring the above embryoids and calli onto regeneration medium, many grew into plantlets. Eventually approximately 80 plantlets grew into adult plants in the field with fully developed inflorescences. On the average, the height of those plants was only about half of that of the parental plants grown on the adjacent plots. After self-fertilization had been performed for most of the plants, only four of them bore well-filled kernels. The others were completely sterile. Consequently the genetic stability of the progeny plants is currently under examination.

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