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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 45 No. 4, p. 1361-1369
     
    Received: Oct 3, 2003


    * Corresponding author(s): deleonn@msu.edu
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doi:10.2135/cropsci2003.0486

Genetic Control of Prolificacy and Related Traits in the Golden Glow Maize Population

  1. N. de Leon *a,
  2. J. G. Coorsa,
  3. S. M. Kaepplera and
  4. G. J. M. Rosab
  1. a Dep. of Agronomy, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706
    b Dep. of Animal Science, Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI 48824

Abstract

Prolificacy (the potential to produce ear shoots at multiple nodes on the main stalk) has been under selection since the early domestication of maize (Zea mays subsp. mays) from teosinte (Z. mays subsp. parviglumis). Until the early part of the 20th century, before mechanization, human selection may have favored single-eared maize because it facilitated hand-harvesting. Prolificacy, however, has the potential to increase stress tolerance under intensive management. Our objectives were (i) to assess variation for prolificacy and 15 related morphological traits in a population of 194 F3 families derived from inbred line A679 and a highly prolific S1 plant from the cultivar Golden Glow after 23 cycles of mass selection for prolificacy; and (ii) to determine relationships among traits and to infer which ones appear to be controlled by similar genetic factors. Traits were evaluated with two replications in three field environments. The population varied significantly for all traits and most traits had relatively high heritabilities (>0.80). Some traits were highly correlated, and two main groups were identified. These groups involved traits mostly associated with either the activity of axillary meristems, or intercalary meristems. In general, the correlations of traits across these two groups were insignificant or of lesser magnitude than within groups, suggesting that common genetic factors might be influencing some of these morphological traits.

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