Gamma-ray (60CO) and thermal neutron induced tassel seed and male sterile mutants in popcorn (Z. mays var. praecox Sturt.) --Adamu, AK Male sterility is an important tool, which may effectively eliminate hand emasculation in genetic improvement. Air dried seed were irradiated with different doses of gamma-rays and thermal neutrons, with the aim of inducing male sterile mutants. The different types of mutants induced were plants developing seeds on tassels (tassel seed). "Highly Sterile" are plants whose tassels were completely turned into female ears (unisexual mutants) and are usually seed sterile. Partially "Sterile" mutants are plants with ears on the normal part of the stem and an additional ear in place of tassels. The appearance of the different categories of male sterile mutants tends to increase with dose in both gamma-ray and thermal neutron treatment. However, only about 4% of the M1 male sterile mutants induced were transmitted to the M2 generation.
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