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Corn; Growth (Plants); Plant mutation


ABSTRACT - The plants used in this study were two inbred strains of maize and their hybrid. Each strain segregated for the mendelian gene dwarf-1, approximating a ratio of three normal to one dwarf, with l 00 per cent penetrance. The length of each of fifty coleoptiles per strain was determined at planting and after emergence of the seedlings until maturity of that organ. The dwarf seedlings were compared with their normal sibs within each strain to determine the degree of expression of the mutant gene. The growth parameters determined from the measurements were: l) total elongation of coleoptile after planting, 2) duration of the growth period, and 3) average arithmetic rate of elongation. The degree of expression of the mutants within each inbred strain was pronounced: a) the amount of elongation to maturity was consistently less than in the normal sibs; b) the duration of the growth period equaled or exceeded that of the normal sibs; and, c) the average arithmetic growth rate also was consistently less. The degree of expression of the mutants in the cross between the two inbred strains was found to be more exaggerated in respect to the above growth parameters; the decrease in mature coleoptile length from the normal sib is relatively greater than that found for the inbred lines, the duration of growth period relatively increased, and the average arithmetic rate of elongation relatively more depressed.

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