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Minerva Biotecnologica 2010 June;22(2):59-62

language: English

Evaluation of a possible use of brachytic 2 mutation in corn breeding

Villa D., Cerino Badone F., Bucci A., Cassani E., Pilu R.

Department of Plant Production, University of Milan, Milan, Italy


Aim. In maize Brachytic 2 (Br2) gene encodes for an auxin polar transporter similar to adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette transporter of the multidrug resistant (MDR) class of P-glycopoteins (PGPs) protein family. Mutations in Br2 gene cause a reduction in plant stature (about 50%) due to shortening of the internodes length without a corresponding reduction in the number of internodes or in the size of other organs. Furthermore br2 mutation confers several positive agronomic traits such as stay green, resistance to lodging and in general a modified plant architecture mimicking modern hybrids. The aim of this work is to evaluate a possible application of br2 mutation as heterozygous (Br2/br2) in maize genetic improvement (in fact br2 mutation exhibits a phenomenon of incomplete dominance).
Methods. With this purpose we constituted several hybrids differing only for br2 constitution (Br2/Br2 vs Br2/br2) and we compared some agronomic traits, such as plant height and ear height. We supported the breeding activity using a Sequence-Specific Amplification Polymorphism (S-SAP) molecular marker to confirm the presence of br2-23 mutation in the genetic material constituted.
Results. The results obtained showed an useful effect of this mutation in some of the genetic backgrounds studied.
Conclusion. Further breeding programs are necessary to explore the full potential of this new finding.

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