Tillers taller than the main stem are heritable
--Heebong Lee, Wonkoo Lee, Insup Lee, Bongho Choe and Seungkeunn Chung

We have reported one inbred whose tillers are taller than the main stem (MNL 67:108-109, 1993). Tillers of inbreds and hybrids are generally shorter than the main stem. Most inbreds and hybrids which were developed by the authors for high performing tillering maizes have short tillers compared with the main stem height at maturity. The short tiller heights may be partly responsible for poor ear set of tillers. In a series of developing tillering inbreds, we found one inbred with tillers taller than the main stem as shown in Table 1. The first and second tiller heights of IK4 inbred were taller than the main stem. However, tiller heights of IK1 inbred were shorter than the main stem without exception. Ear heights of tillers were higher than the ear height of the main stem in both inbreds.

Table 1. Main stem and tiller heights and ear height of IK4 and IK1 at maturity, cm.
Characters Plant Ht. Ear ht. Plant ht. Ear ht.
Main stem 176.0±9.4* 74.2±5.6 180.0±7.6 83±5.4
1st tiller 198.5±14.5 87.8±6.4 151.7±18.5 116±7.8
2nd tiller 182.0±14.4 85.6±5.5 85.0±20.0 112±10.3
3rd tiller 115.5±19.2 61.8±4.1 -- --
*standard error

 Table 2. Main stem and tiller height of F1 hybrids between IK4 and four tillering inbred lines, cm.
Characters IK4 /IK1CI66 IK4/PI213749 IK4 /IK1FR3019 IK4/IK1US P3160* *
Main stem 283.0±4.9* 247.7±9.6 227.0±9.5 233.5±4.6 275±8.5
1st tiller 281.7±6.0 253.7±7.2 234.0±6.0 258.0±8.8 --
2nd tiller 221.7±10.7 244.3±6.7 218.3±11.7 251.4±12.4 --
3rd tiller -- -- -- 169.7±16.4 --
*standard error
**check hybrid with no-tillers

Tillering habits of IK4 were well manifested in some of the hybrid combinations (Table 2). Hybrids between IK4 and other tillering inbreds showed almost equal tiller heights to main stem height. The first and second tillers of hybrids between IK4 and IK1US showed much higher tiller heights than the main stem. 

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