Ms-gene designations
--Albertsen, MC

I would like to volunteer to help coordinate the designation of new male-sterile mutations. There are several gaps in designating the existing known male-sterile mutations as shown by the following current listing: ms1, ms2, ms3, ms4 (original stock lost), ms5, ms6 (original stock lost), ms7, ms8, ms9, ms10, ms11, ms12, ms13, ms14, ms15 (original stock lost), ms16 (original stock lost), ms17, ms18 (original stock lost), ms19 (original stock lost), ms20, Ms21 (original stock lost), ms22, ms23, ms24, ms25, ms26, ms27 (proposed use by P. Bedinger), ms28, ms29 through ms40 (not used), Ms41, Ms42, ms43, Ms44, and ms45-m1::Ac. I propose to "fill-in" the gaps so as to reduce the confusion concerning the number of male-sterile mutations officially described in maize, and to reduce the possibility of the same mutant designation referring to more than one mutant. Unfortunately, this already has happened for ms4, which originally was used by Beadle in 1931 and subsequently re-used as a designation for a mutagen-induced male-sterile mutation that bears no relationship to Beadle's original ms4. Additionally, ms6 often is referred to as being allelic to polymitotic (po). Beadle's 1932 description of ms6 bears no resemblance to po, and as such, strongly suggests that the original stock of ms6 has been lost.

I also would like to suggest that in the future, before anyone uses a new numbered designation for a particular male-sterile mutation, they at least identify the chromosome arm on which the allele is located. This will greatly facilitate the daunting task of making all the necessary allelism crosses that must subsequently be made by other researchers who also may have unmapped male steriles waiting to be officially designated. If the appropriate chromosome arm is known, the number of required crosses is reduced considerably. Unfortunately, for example, we will be unable to give new designations to any of the male steriles that Dr. Earl Patterson described last year until new allelism crosses are made. This suggestion, of course, would not preclude anyone from using their own ms*-xxxx designations for new male steriles that they are in the process of describing. 


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