Influence of Air Temperature on the Stability of Cytoplasmic Male Sterility (CMS) in Maize (Zea mays L.)
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Cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) is a maternally inherited trait that suppresses the production of viable pollen. CMS is a useful biological tool for containment strategies to reduce or prevent gene flow and cross-pollination to facilitate coexistence of genetically modified (GM) and non GM-crops in cases where it is required. CMS is reversible and can restore to fertility in the presence of nuclear restorer genes (Rf-genes) and by environ- mental impacts. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of air temperature on the stability of CMS maize hybrids under defined greenhouse conditions. Three CMS maize hybrids were grown in three different temperature regimes. Tassel characteristics, pollen production, and fertility were studied. The CMS stability was high in hot air tempera- tures and decreased in lower temperatures. The extent of these phenomena was dependent on the CMS maize genotype and should be known before using CMS for coexistence purposes.
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