Providing maize ears for local high schools and junior colleges
--Vicki Chandler, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon; After May 1, 1997: Dept. of Plant Sciences, 303 Forbes Hall, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, chandler@ag.arizona.edu

In Oregon, as in many states, budgets for education are being slashed. This makes it very difficult for high schools to purchase maize ears from supply companies to use for genetic demonstrations. However, most high school and junior college teachers that I have interacted with, would very much like to use maize ears to demonstrate genetic concepts. Each field season, I have tried to generate several hundred ears for use in the classroom. This is easy to do using the large variety of linked anthocyanin and starch synthesis genes. Typically, I will do a few self pollinations and outcrosses to generate 1:1, 3:1, 9:3:3:1 ears. One can use a1 sh2 and bz1 sh1 stocks to demonstrate linkage as well. The teachers have made excellent use of ears with transposons. I like to use P-vv (Ac in the P locus) with a Ds in an anthocyanin gene (B-Peru or R). This genotype results in stripes in the pericarp and spots on the seeds. Reciprocal crosses can be used to demonstrate maternal inheritance, and ear sectors can be used to discuss clonal analyses and development. Since the maize ears last for quite a long time, the donation will be used for many years and by numerous students.
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