Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Boston College
Transposable element in maize anther culture-derived microspore-plants and their progenies --Ting, YC, Tran, L In the last few years, selection of stable inbred maize from anther culture-derived progeny plants was made (MNL74:73). This inbred line was descended from a single self-fertilized PO (first generation of microspore-plant) plant of KH-13. Every summer, more than 100 progeny plants were grown in the field for observation. Among them, five to 10 percent were classified as dwarf-yellow-green. These potential mutants were weak, had barren stalks and had sterile male inflorescences. It was almost impossible to make any further genetic evaluation on them. However, in each summer, three to five of the normal sib plants were selected and self-pollinated. In the next year, those self-fertilized kernels were employed for further testing. More than 100 plants were grown again for study. The dwarf-yellow-green plants reappeared in the new progeny . When a X2-test was made, the frequency of the appearance of these mutant plants did not fit the expected ratio of either monohybrids or dihybrids. The above experiments were repeated for more than five years. Last summer, the same procedures were followed. It was surprising to find that no dwarf-yellow-green variants were observed. In other words, the selected progeny plants had become a stable line. Its immediate offspring were close to 100 percent fertile and uniform in morphology. It is concluded that the previous segregations of dwarf-yellow-green vs. normal plants were an indication of the presence of a transposable element in the parental plant. This element was originally silent and activated through anther culture. It is conceivable that after being through more than five generations of self-fertilization, the transposable element was thrown out by irregular meiotic division. Furthermore, it is tenable to say that anther culture of maize may lead to the production of useful inbreds. These inbreds can be employed to facilitate the improvement of food supplies.
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