, Volume 193, Issue 3, pp 341–348 | Cite as

Physiological genetics of the dominant gibberellin-nonresponsive maize dwarfs, Dwarf8 and Dwarf9



Maize (Zea mays L.) Dwarf8-1 (D8-1) is an andromonoecious dwarf mutant proposed to be involved in gibberellin (GA) reception (Fujioka et al. 1988b; Harberd and Freeling 1989). The mutant D8-1 is dominant and GA-nonresponsive (Phinney 1956). We show by map position and similarity of phenotype that five additional dwarf mutants are D8 alleles. We show by map position and similarity of phenotype that a second andromonoecious dwarf mutant, D9-1, defines a duplicate gene. Maize D9-1 and each dominant D8 allele specify a different plant stature, from very mild to very severe dwarfism. Plants of D9-1 and all dominant D8 alleles, except D8-1591, were GA-nonresponsive when treated with 7500 nmol GA3. The behavior of the mild dwarf D8-1591 was unique in that a small but significant growth response was detected (37% for D8-1591 vs. 130% for the wild type) when treated with 7500 nmol GA3. These results establish that all dwarf genotypes, except D8-1591, in one dose set a maximum limit on plant growth and block the normal response to GA. When treated with the GA-synthesis inhibitor paclobutrazol, plants of all dwarf genotypes and wild-type siblings were severely dwarfed. Plants of all dwarf genotypes treated with the GA-synthesis inhibitor paclobutrazol and GA3 were returned to their normal dwarf phenotype. Dominant dwarfing, delayed flowering, increased tillering, and anther development in the ear are characteristic features of D9-1 and all D8 alleles. The GA-synthesis-deficient dwarfs also have these characteristic features. We discuss the function of the wild-type gene product in the context of the observed results.

Key words

Dwarf mutant (dominant) Gibberellin reception Gibberellin-nonresponsive dwarfs Mutant maize (Dwarf8) Zea (gibberellin-insensitive dwarf) 







gibberellin A(n)


gibberellic acid


Maize Genetics Cooperation Newsletter


near-isogenic lines


restriction fragment length polymorphism


wild type


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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