The Effects of Varying Chromosome Arm Dosage on Maize Plant Morphogenesis
Dale C. Brunelle, William F. Sheridan


Maize is an especially well suited species for studying the effects of aneuploidy on plant development. We used B-A translocations and testers that were crossed seven times into inbred W22 to generate a dosage series for 14 chromosome arms. This is the first report of dosage effects on maize morphogenesis using inbred B-A stocks and inbred tester stocks. We compared plants containing one dose or three doses of each of the 14 chromosome arms with plants containing two doses for seven measured traits. These were leaf width, leaf length, plant height, ear height, internode length, ear node circumference and tassel branch number. We observed the typical maize aneuploid syndrome wherein one dose was more widespread and more severe in its effects than three doses. All but two of the one dose effects were negative and all of the three dose effects were negative. The occurrence of positive responses by hyperploid plants in our earlier B-A-A study and the absence of any positive responses among the hyperploids reported for the 14 simple B-A translocations tested for dosage effects in the present study and previously may reflect gene dosage interaction between the two chromosome arm segments present in the B-A-A translocations. The overall congruence of our results with those of previous studies suggests that the traits measured are quantitative traits controlled by multiple genes whose activities provide a balanced regulation that transcends individual inbred lines or diverse genetic backgrounds and such genes may be especially abundant in chromosome arm 1L.

  • Received May 17, 2014.
  • Accepted June 16, 2014.