Xenia effect in a cross between BSSS and Zea diploperennis
--Lawrence A. Carlson
About ten ears of BSSS were selfed in St. Paul, MN when the first dozen
or so silks appeared. Then one or two days later the same ears were pollinated
with Zea diploperennis pollen. In pollinations with Zea diploperennis
I cut off the husk almost down to the ear, split the balance of the husk
and sprinkled pollen directly on the silks attached to the kernels. I usually
get 100 to 200 crossed seeds per ear this way. I sometimes get a few airborne
pollen crosses. This is how I first noticed the dramatic xenia effect in
the maize x Zea diploperennis crosses.
Figure 1 is a photo of a BSSS ear selfed, two ears selfed early and then pollinated with Zea diploperennis pollen, and two ears crossed only with Zea diploperennis. The ears that were selfed, then pollinated later, show dramatically smaller kernels toward the tip, while those pollinated on the same day show uniform small kernels. Several of the ears pictured have not been shelled as of December 1994, but a few adjacent kernels picked out of the back would indicate that the Zea diploperennis crossed kernels have an adjusted weight of 60% of the BSSS kernels.
This multiple pollinating technique can no doubt be refined and evolved for many uses in cytogenetics.
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