Boston College

Continued studies on the genic instability of maize inbred lines derived from anther culture
--Ting, YC; Nguyen, DQ

In the summer of 1996, continued studies on the genic stability of maize inbreds derived from anther culture were carried out. In a total of 52 plants examined, 10 of them demonstrated dwarfism like that observed in 1995. These dwarf plants grew up to a little over one foot tall, with yellow green leaves. The stalks were completely barren. Three of them tasseled late in the season and only one of the tassels reached anthesis but without dehiscing. In addition, it was found that among the above plants there was a curling plant and one robust green plant. This curling plant was the same as a previously reported (Abst. Proc. 17th Int. Cong. Gen., 1993) mutant. The robust and sturdy green plant never appeared in the progenies from the same ancestral plant. Since the number was small, one for each class, it does not seem that they originated by segregation of pre-existing mutations. It might suggest that the mutagenic effect of maize anther culture was active and transmitting.

In another consideration, polling last year's data from progeny tests and this year's, a total of 124 plants were examined; 21 plants were dwarf, approximately 17 percent of the total. The result does not follow any Mendelian expectations. Perhaps some other factor or factors may be involved. It might be that the tissue culture per se activated dormant transposable elements in the cells and tissues. 

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