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Genome. 2007 Jun;50(6):578-87.

Locating a site on the maize B chromosome that controls preferential fertilization.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


In maize, the B chromosome can undergo nondisjunction at the second pollen mitosis, producing sperm with two B chromosomes and sperm with zero B chromosomes. Preferential fertilization is the ability of the sperm carrying two B chromosomes to transmit more frequently to the embryo of a kernel than the sperm lacking the B chromosome. A translocation involving the B chromosome and chromosome 9, TB-9Sb, has been used to study preferential fertilization. The B-9 chromosome has the same properties of nondisjunction and preferential fertilization as the standard B chromosome. Deletion derivatives of B-9, which lack the centric heterochromatin and possibly some adjacent euchromatin, were tested for their ability to induce preferential fertilization. They were found to lack the capacity for preferential fertilization.

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