A new modifier of aleurone pigments

--Patrick Schnable

A modifier of aleurone pigmentation was uncovered in a cross of Black Mexican Sweet (BMS) with Vebz. BMS carries A1, A2, C1, C2, R, Pr and su1; it therefore has purple and sugary kernels. Vebz is a Very early bronze stock developed in Ames in the early 1980's from a cross of a sh bz line from Missouri to a colored Cornell line we called Aet. Vebz is homozygous for A1, A2, C1, C2, R, pr and sh bz; it therefore produces bronze shrunken kernels. As expected, the F1 between these two lines yielded purple kernels. However, the backcross of this F1 to BMS segregated 1:1 for blue-purple:greenish purple kernels. The former are expressing the BMS phenotype. Nine selfed ears on plants derived from blue-purple F1BC seeds failed to segregate greenish purple kernels. In contrast, all five selfed ears from plants derived from greenish-purple F1BC seeds segregated 3:1 greenish purple:blue-purple. These data demonstrate that the greenish purple phenotype is controlled by a dominant modifier present in the Vebz line and absent in BMS. This modifier is not Pr; eight out of the nine selfed F1BC ears that failed to segregate greenish purple kernels were segregating for pr and three of the five selfed F1BC ears that did segregate for greenish purple kernels did not carry pr. Classification is easiest in a BMS background.

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