Unstable mutants of bronze induced by pre-meiotic X-ray treatment in maize

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A study was made of the effects of pre-meiotic x-irradiation on the bronze locus in chromosome 9 of maize. Plants of Sh Bz Wx/Sh Bz Wx constitution were treated with ca. 1000r and pollen from these individuals was applied to silks of sh bz wx tester plants. In the F1 progeny, three Sh Wx kernels having a bz aleurone or showing Bz-bz variegation (the bz-x3, bz-x4 and bz-x5 mutants) were selected as possible mutations at the bz locus. One kernel of sh bz wx phenotype as well as one exhibiting sh, bz and Wx (sh-bz-x3) were also selected for more intensive study. Progeny tests of the sh bz wx individual along with cytological observations indicated that a ring chromosome was the probable cause of the mutant phenotype although an alternative hypothesis is not ruled out. The behavior of sh-bz-x3 can be interpreted as the result of either a minute deficiency involving the Sh and Bz loci or a simultaneous suppression of the two dominant alleles. Progeny of the bz-x mutants exhibited genetic instability of bronze. It is hypothesized that this behavior is due to the activation or alteration by x-rays of gene control mechanisms which affect the bronze gene. © 1973 Springer-Verlag.

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Theoretical and Applied Genetics