Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Biol. 1990 Nov;142(1):233-45.

Clonal analysis of the cell lineages in the male flower of maize.

Author information

Department of Plant Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


The cell lineages in the male flower of maize were characterized using X-rays and transposable elements to produce clonal sectors differing in anthocyanin pigmentation. Less than 50% of the somatic tassel mutations (caused by reversion of unstable color mutations) that were visible on the anther wall were sexually transmitted by the male gametes, unless the sectors were larger than half the tassel circumference. This result is explained by showing that: (a) both the outer (LI) and inner (LII) lineages of the shoot apical meristem form a cell layer in the bilayered anther wall, and that anther pigmentation can be derived from either cell layer; and that (b) the male germ cells are derived almost exclusively from the LII. Therefore, while reversion events in either the LI or LII are visible on the anther, only the LII events are heritable. Reversion events that occur prior to the organization of the shoot apical meristem however, produce large (usually more than one-half tassel) sectors that include both the outer and inner lineages. In contrast to the high level of cell layer invasion previously reported during leaf development, during anther development less than 10(-3) cells in the LI invade the LII to form male gametes. The strong correlation between cell lineage and cell fate in the maize anther has implications for studies on plant evolution and the genetic improvement of cereals by DNA transformation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center