Main content area

Effect of Pollen Selection for Alachlor Tolerance in Maize

Frascaroli, E., Landi, P., Villa, M., Sari-Gorla, M.
Crop science 1995 v.35 no.5 pp. 1322-1326
Zea mays, alachlor, herbicide resistance, pollen, selection methods, backcrossing, genetic improvement, diploidy, haploidy, selection response
Pollen selection can lead to correlated responses in the subsequent sporophytes because many genes are expressed in both haploid and diploid phases. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of pollen selection for tolerance to the herbicide alachlor [2-chloro-N-(2,6- diethylphenyl)-N-(methoxymethyl) acetamide] in maize (L.). Tassels of the single cross hybrid K55 (tolerant) ✕ Ky226 (susceptible) were grown in absence (control) and in presence (selected) of alachlor (I g L). Mature pollen from this process was used to make backcrosses to Ky226 (susceptibility being recessive). The selected population outperformed the control population (88 vs. 81%; P ≤ 0.01) for percentage of normal seedlings (i.e., not injured by alachlor) when compared in a field trial treated with the herbicide (5 kg a.i. ha). Pollen of plants grown without alachlor was analyzed in vitro; in presence of the herbicide in the medium (50 mg L) the selected population exceeded the control population for pollen tube length (334 vs. 308 μm; P ≤ 0.01). Two cycles of pollen selection were also conducted in the single cross hybrid KS5 ✕ H99 (susceptible) following the backcross procedure to the susceptible parent. Seeds of control and selected populations were exposed to alachlor (I g L), and seedlings were grown in the greenhouse. For percentage of normal seedlings, we obtained a gain (16%) in the first cycle and an additional gain (10%) in the second cycle. The results indicate that genes controlling alachlor tolerance in maize are expressed in both haploid and diploid phases and that pollen selection can be effectively applied to improve the trait.