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Crop Science Abstract -

Genotypic Influences on in vitro Fertilization and Kernel Development of Maize1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 17 No. 4, p. 489-492
    Received: Dec 10, 1976

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  1. B. G. Gengenbach2



A study was conducted to determine the performance of maize (Zea mays L.) genotypes in a procedure for in vitro fertilization and kernel (caryopsis) development. The influence of sampling and crossing methods on in vitro fertilization and kernel development were examined as part of a continuing effort to improve the procedure for use in genetic and developmental studies. Segments of maize ears containing 10 unfertilized intact pistillate spikelets were pollinated after placement on a defined agar-based medium in petri dishes. Fertilization percentage, frequency and extent of kernel development, and germination percentage were obtained for 31 female genotypes each sibbed and crossed by four inbred-line males. Average percent fertilization of 11 single-cross females (42%) was higher than for 20 inbred-line females (18%). Fertilization ranged from 0 to 84% and significant effects were attributable to female genotype; male genotype; female ✕ male combinations; crossing date interactions with females, males, and female ✕ male combinations; age of ears (from silking); and the time of day that pistillate spikelets and pollen were collected in the field for crossing. Full kernel development lot crosses involving single-cross females averaged 12% of the initial ovary number and was influenced mainly by female genotype. For a 10-ovary block, differences in development were evident among fertilized ovaries beginning 10 to 15 days after pollination. Two fully developed kernels was the average maximum per 10-ovary block. Germination of full kernels developed from single-cross and inbred-line females was 95 and 85%, respectively. The above effects should be considered when designing in vitro fertilization studies with maize.

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