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The production of haploid wheat plants from wheat x maize crosses

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Hybrid embryos from hexaploid wheat x maize crosses rapidly lose the maize chromosomes to produce haploid wheat embryos. Such embryos almost always aborted when left to develop on the plant, and only 1 was recovered from 2440 florets (0.17% of the expected number). Embryos had greater viability in spikelet culture, 47 (26.5% of the expected number) being recovered from 706 ovaries. Thirty-two of these embryos germinated to give green plants, 31 of which were haploid (21 wheat chromosomes) and 1 of which was euploid (42 wheat chromosomes). Spikelet culture enabled 17.1% of the expected number of embryos to be recovered as haploid plants, a 100-fold improvement on allowing embryos to develop in vivo. Ten haploid plants of ‘Chinese Spring’ (kr1, kr2), 13 plants of ‘Chinese Spring (Hope 5A)’ (kr1, Kr2), and 8 of ‘Hope’ (Kr1, Kr2) were recovered. The potential of wheat x maize crosses for wheat haploid production and for gene transfer from maize to wheat is discussed.

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Communicated by G. Wenzel

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Laurie, D.A., Bennett, M.D. The production of haploid wheat plants from wheat x maize crosses. Theoret. Appl. Genetics 76, 393–397 (1988).

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