University of North Dakota

Isolation of meiotic mutations from active Mutator stocks

--Inna Golubovskaya and William F. Sheridan

During the summer of 1991 a search was conducted for new meiotic mutations by screening of active Mutator stocks. A total of 817 families of 20 kernels each were grown from self-pollinated ears produced on plants of known Mutator activity. The approximately 16,000 progeny plants were screened at flowering for male sterile plants. About 80 families were identified wherein one or more plants were male sterile in that their anthers failed to dehisce. The pedigree analysis of these families revealed that some traced to a common Mutator parent, and in total they formed 36 independent groups. Families of 15 kernels each from a self-pollinated ear from each of the 36 groups was planted in the greenhouse in late August and early September. During October and early November, microsporocytes were collected from all of the plants in each of the families and fixed in ethanol:glacial acetic acid (3:1 v/v) for 24 hours and then stored in 70% ethanol in the refrigerator. The microsporocytes were examined microscopically using propionocarmine staining. Examination of meiotic cells from all 36 families resulted in the identification of eight meiotic mutations. These included mutations exhibiting leptotene arrest, ameiotic, desynaptic, polymitotic, and sticky chromosome phenotypes. These materials are being grown in the winter nursery to propagate and test for heritability in preparation for their further characterization.

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