A change in gene designations is being made to accommodate the assignment of the same male-sterile mutant designation to two unrelated mutants. In 1998, Trimnell, et al. (MNL 72) assigned a series of mutant designations from ms29 through ms31 to describe three new male-sterile mutations. These designations were chosen to "fill-in" some of the numerical gaps in male-sterile mutant designations that have developed over the years. In MNL 72, the gene designation ms30 was used to describe a mutant previously identified as ms*-WL87A that mapped to chromosome 2L. After MNL 72 was published, MCA was notified that a 1998 book entitled "Biology of Male Sterility in Maize" (published in Chinese) included reference to a ms30 assigned to a male-sterile mutant found by Professor Li Jingxiong that we (MNL 70:30) had given a temporary designation of ms*-Li89, pending further mapping and allelism crosses. Unfortunately, this resulted in the same designation for two different male-sterile mutants. To alleviate this problem, I propose that the ms30 designation continue to be used to describe the Chinese mutant, putting the use of ms30 in line with what is published in the "Biology of Male Sterility in Maize". Subsequently, this means that ms*-WL89A will no longer have any connection to ms30. We propose that its new designation be ms38, with a reference allele designation of ms38-WL89A. (Please note that the original description of ms*-WL89A is given in MNL 72:38.) All of this demonstrates the need to coordinate the assignment of new male-sterile mutant designations to avoid further duplications or random numerical designations.
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