Mutator activity is maintained in exotic and inbred lines --Virginia Walbot A series of exotic lines was crossed with bz2 tester in a W23 background, then selfed, to extract bz2 with 50% exotic background. These lines were then crossed to and by bz2 mutables (1.4 kb Mu insertions in the gene) in a mainly W23 background; somatic mutability was scored in the progeny with 25% exotic background. Alternatively, exotic lines were crossed with mutable materials, then selfed so that somatic mutability of the reporter allele could be scored in the progeny with 50% exotic background. In both types of test, mutability was maintained in Zapalote Chico, Tama Flint, Papago Flour, Maiz Chapalote, Tom Thumb, and Gourdseed. Mutable alleles of Bz1 and Bz2 have also been successfullly introgressed into the following inbred backgrounds: A188, K55, NI, W22, W23, and the Coop background in which the an bz2 deletion is maintained. In both the standard and exotic lines, behavior of the mutable alleles is the same as we have previously reported: somatic mutability was maintained in most progeny but a few progeny became inactive. In our hands, all backgrounds are equivalent in maintaining Mutator activity. Our Mutator lines are all derived from the purple Mutator stock of D. S. Robertson.

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