Kernel viability of selfed R0 plants --Y. C. Ting In the summer of 1988, 43 kernels were obtained from the R0 plants (first generation plants from anther culture) of maize strain 88BC-6. All of these kernels were grown in a vermiculite mixture last spring. However, I found later that only three of them grew into fully developed plants. I was very disappointed. Among the other kernels, five germinated but when the hypocotyls reached about 2 centimeters in length, they stopped growth. Their shoots were never recovered. The remainder never germinated. In view of this, it seems likely that an Ac-like element was activated during the differentiation of the R0 plants. This element might become inserted into a certain region of a chromosome and subsequently cause lethal embryos. In consequence of this, the embryos might not grow. On the other hand, if the element was somehow inactivated, the embryos might develop into regular plants. Since obtaining a stable progeny is the prerequisite for the application of plant tissue culture in crop improvement, it is significant to investigate the mechanism of low kernel viability of the R0 plants.

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