A genetic test of bioactive gibberellins as regulators of heterosis in maize

D L Auger, E M Peters, J A Birchler
Journal of Heredity 2005, 96 (5): 614-7
This study tested the hypothesis that gibberellin levels were responsible for the superior growth habit of hybrids (i.e., heterosis). If this were true, plants reduced in their capacity to produce gibberellin, such as maize plants homozygous for dwarf1 (d1), should display a lesser heterotic response. The d1 mutation was introgressed into two inbred lines of maize, B73 and Mo17, for seven generations. Plants segregating for the dwarf phenotype were produced both by self-fertilizing the introgressed inbred lines and by making reciprocal crosses between them to produce hybrids. Measurements were made of several physical traits. The results indicated that the hybrid dwarf plants experienced no loss of heterosis relative to their normal siblings. These results exclude the possibility that modulation of bioactive gibberellins is a major underlying basis of the heterotic response.

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