PLOIDY BARRIER TO ENDOSPERM DEVELOPMENT IN MAIZE Bor-Yaw Lin 1 1 EMBRAPA, Centro Nacional de Recursos Genéticos, SAIN, Parque Rural, Caixa, 70.770-Brasília-DF, Brazil Maize kernels inheriting the indeterminate gametophyte mutant ( ig ) on the female side had endosperms that ranged in ploidy level from diploid (2x) to nonaploid (9x). In crosses with diploid males, only kernels of the triploid endosperm class developed normally. Kernels of the tetraploid endosperm class were half-sized but with well-developed embryos that regularly germinated. Kernels of endosperm composition other than triploid or tetraploid were abortive.—Endosperm ploidy level resulting from mating ig/ig x tetraploid Ig similarly was variable. Most endosperms started to degenerate soon after pollination and remained in an arrested state. Hexaploid endosperm was exceptional; it developed normally during the sequence of stages studied and accounted for plump kernels on mature ears. Since such kernels have diploid maternal tissues (pericarp) but triploid embryos, the present finding favors the view that endosperm failure or success in such circumstances is governed by conditions within the endosperm itself.—Whereas tetraploid endosperm consisting of three maternal genomes and one paternal genome is slightly reduced in size but supports viable seed development, that endosperm having two maternal and two paternal chromosome sets was highly defective and conditioned abortion. Thus, development of maize endosperm evidently is affected by the parental source of its sets of chromosomes. Submitted on May 16, 1983 Accepted on November 28, 1983
Genetics – Genetics Society of America
Published: May 1, 1984
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