University of Freiburg


University of Hohenheim

Identification of a mutant deficient in lateral root formation

--Winfried Hetz, Verena Dinger, Michael Schwall, Günter Feix and W. Gerhard Pollmer

In an attempt to generate mutants with a defect in an agronomically important trait, we crossed a flint inbred from the Hohenheim collection of breeding material with an En carrying dent inbred (obtained from P. Peterson, PA, Ames). In the segregating F2 generation we recovered, among several other aberrant phenotypes, a plant with a severe deficiency in the formation of lateral roots. Genetic analysis of this plant material indicated that the observed aberrant phenotype is caused by a recessive mutation. The mutant plants (see figure) show a reduced vigour and need special care for their growth, such as intense watering and a supporting stick.

Photographs of the root system of 12 day old seedlings from the mutant (A) and wt plants (B) and of a 50 day old mutant plant (C).

The isolated mutant is supposed to be a good candidate for the identification of genes with relevance for root formation. We have, therefore, started to investigate whether the mutation is caused by the insertion of an En element and would hence be amenable to the isolation of the affected gene by a gene tagging procedure.

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