A new kernel mutant with pleiotropic effect

--T. M. Song and X. W. Lu

An opaque endosperm-small germ mutant (os) was observed and tested allelically with floury alleles (fl1, fl2, fl3) and opaque alleles (o1, o2, o5, o7, o9, o10, o11, o13). No allelic relationship was found. The endosperm of os kernels showed the opaque characteristic but was not typical. The top part of os seeds is completely opaque but the basal part is somewhat flint and translucent. The kernel size is larger but the color is lighter. The germ size is also obviously reduced, about 1/2 of the normal. These two traits always appear simultaneously on the same kernel, indicating the pleiotropic effect of the os gene.

os seeds are weaker in germinating ability and seedling vigor. Under field condition, os seedlings grow slower and seldom reach flowering stage but under high oil genetic background, os seedlings grow better and can shed normal pollen and even set seeds.

Since the os gene can express in both endosperm and germ and segregate normally, it is a useful seed marker.

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