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Genetic control of maternal haploidy in maize (Zea mays L.) and selection of haploid inducing lines

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The effect of genotype on maternal haploid plant production in maize was studied. The frequency of gynogenetic plants when “Stock 6” was used as pollinator varied according to the female parent genotype. No simple relation was observed between genotypic aptitudes for gynogenetic and androgenetic development, which occured after pollination of “W23” plant carrying the “indeterminate gametophyte” gene. Furthermore, the population NS, a favorably responsive genotype to anther culture, does not exhibit exceptional ability for in vivo gynogenesis. The effect of inbreeding and the influence of maternal haploid origin suggest that specific genes control maternal haploid initiation and development. However, gynogenetic development is not limited to a particular genotype. The frequency of maternal haploids may be increased by using specific pollen parents. Attempts were made to select for a high haploidyinducing trait and the present study reports the successful development of lines that can be utilized as pollen parents to induce haploids for experimental purposes and breeding programmes. When an inbred line “WS14”, derived from the cross W23 x Stock 6, was used as pollen parent, 2%–5% maternal haploids were obtained according to the female parent genotype. A high haploidy-inducing potential is a heritable trait and may be controlled by a limited number of genes. Genetic determination of the haploidy-inducing character was examined in relation to the efficiency of the selecting method and the mechanisms involved in the origin of maternal haploids.

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Communicated by G. Wenzel

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Lashermes, P., Beckert, M. Genetic control of maternal haploidy in maize (Zea mays L.) and selection of haploid inducing lines. Theoret. Appl. Genetics 76, 405–410 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00265341

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Key words

  • Zea mays
  • Haploid induction
  • Gynogenesis
  • Genetics
  • Inducer line