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Plant Physiol. 1994 Aug;105(4):1239-1245.

Chemically Induced Cuticle Mutation Affecting Epidermal Conductance to Water Vapor and Disease Susceptibility in Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench.

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Department of Horticulture (M.A.J., R.J.J., P.J.R., E.N.A.), and Department of Agronomy (P.J.P., J.D.A.), Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907.


Analysis of Sorghum bicolor bloomless (bm) mutants with altered epicuticular wax (EW) structure uncovered a mutation affecting both EW and cuticle deposition. The cuticle of mutant bm-22 was about 60% thinner and approximately one-fifth the weight of the wild-type parent P954035 (WT-P954035) cuticles. Reduced cuticle deposition was associated with increased epidermal conductance to water vapor. The reduction in EW and cuticle deposition increased susceptibility to the fungal pathogen Exserohilum turcicum. Evidence suggests that this recessive mutation occurs at a single locus with pleiotropic effects. The independently occurring gene mutations of bm-2, bm-6, bm-22, and bm-33 are allelic. These chemically induced mutants had essentially identical EW structure, water loss, and cuticle deposition. Furthermore, 138 F2 plants from a bm-22 x WT-P954035 backcross showed no recombination of these traits. This unique mutation in a near-isogenic background provides a useful biological system to examine plant cuticle biosynthesis, physiology, and function.


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