Boston College
More studies on the expression of the cloning gene in tetraploid maize --Ting, YC, Tran, L In the last edition of this Newsletter (MNL 76, 2002), I reported that the study on the day-length effect on the expression of the cloning gene in tetraploid maize was inconclusive. Hence, a repeated experiment was carried out by planting the same material in November and December of the year 2001 and in January of this year. The material was from a selfed progeny of the genotype Clg clg clg clg. For each planting, about 25 kernels were sown in the greenhouse. A month later, of the above three plantings, 53 vigorous plants were obtained. They were watered and fertilized as before. Four months later, all of the plants tasselled. However, none of them regenerated into plantlets. This was unexpected. Hence, control of the expression of the cloning gene is still intriguing. Lack of environmental signals may lead to the failure of the expression of this particular gene. In order to identify the signal or signals, a continuing experiment is carried out in the greenhouse during the winter. In addition, four plants of the last year's three plantings were found to be perennial under greenhouse conditions. Since stalks of these plants were cut off three times, regeneration of the propagules in the root stocks continued, and the regenerated plants were vigorous and normal. Thus, this perhaps suggests that a directed genomic restructuring may lead to the development of a successful perennial maize variety. This is encouraging. The next step of the experiment will be growing those putative perennial plants in the field to see how they will respond to the natural condition in the New England Area.
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