, Volume 72, Issue 1, pp 42-47

The extent of gametophytic-sporophytic gene expression in maize

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Summary

To determine the extent of gametophytic gene expression and the type of transcription, haploid or haplo-diploid, of the genes, isozymes were used as genetic markers. Fifteen enzymatic systems, including thirty-four isozymes, were studied. The determination of the type of expression of genes coding for multimeric enzymes was based on the comparison of electrophoretic patterns of pollen and of sporophytic tissues from plants heterozygous for electrophoretic mobility: if gene expression in pollen is of a gametophytic (haploid) origin, pollen, unlike the sporophyte, would reveal only the parental homomultimeric bands. The enzymes analyzed can be grouped in three categories according to type of gene expression: i) enzymes present in both pollen and sporophyte, coded by the same gene with haplo-diploid expression; ii) enzymes controlling analogous functions in pollen and sporophyte, coded by different genes, expressed in only one of the two phases; iii) enzymes present in two or more forms in the sporophyte and only in one form in the gametophyte. The data allow the proportion of haplo-diploid gene expression in the loci examined to be estimated at 0.72; 0.22 and 0.06 being the proportions attributable to the sporophytic and gametophytic domains, respectively.

Communicated by P. Pfahler