Induced tiller formation in maize
Adamu, A. Kasim

Air dried seed of an inbred line of corn (Zea mays L.) was irradiated with gamma rays from a cobalt 60 (60Co) source, and thermal neutrons (Flux 1.5x104 n.cm2 S-1) at different doses. The irradiated seed were planted in the field and pots in a complete randomized block design (CRBD) with four (4) replications. One of the partially dominant mutants observed, resulting from gamma rays (60Co) and thermal neutrons, was the formation of tillers. The result demonstrated variability in the relative frequency of the number of tillers formed following treatment with different doses of the same and different mutagens. Plants observed were classified according to the number of tillers produced, namely one tiller, two tillers, three tillers (Fig. 2) and more than three tillers (Fig. 3). The number of tillers increases with the dose in both gamma rays and thermal neutrons, with the highest percentages of 40% and 17.33% obtained at the highest doses of gamma rays and thermal neutrons respectively. However, less than 1% of the tillers formed in the M1 generation were recovered in the M2 generation.

Figure 1. An induced tiller mutant with 2-3 tillers.
Figure 2. An induced tiller mutant with more than three (3) tillers.
Please Note: Notes submitted to the Maize Genetics Cooperation Newsletter may be cited only with consent of the authors

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