Handling Fast‐Flowering Mini‐Maize

Morgan E. McCaw1, James A. Birchler1

1 Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Plant Biology
Unit Number:   
DOI:  10.1002/cppb.20051
Online Posting Date:  June, 2017
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Abstract

Maize (Zea mays) has a long history as a model organism for genetic analysis due to its ease of crossing, relatively large number of progeny, and ability to determine many genotypic traits through phenotypic kernel markers. Fast‐Flowering Mini‐Maize A and B (FFMM) are two recently developed lines of maize selected for traits that make them more conducive to research. FFMM flowers more quickly than standard maize and is much smaller; thus it requires a slightly modified protocol for care and crossing. The following protocol describes how to plant, care for, and cross FFMM in greenhouse, growth chamber, and field conditions. © 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Keywords: Fast‐Flowering Mini‐Maize; plant care; pollination; Zea mays; crossing

     
 
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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Basic Protocol 1: Growing and Crossing Fast‐Flowering Mini‐Maize in a Greenhouse or Growth Chamber
  • Alternate Protocol 1: Raising and Crossing Fast‐Flowering Mini‐Maize in the Field
  • Support Protocol 1: Surface Sterilization of Seeds
  • Commentary
  • Literature Cited
  • Figures
  • Tables
     
 
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Materials

Basic Protocol 1: Growing and Crossing Fast‐Flowering Mini‐Maize in a Greenhouse or Growth Chamber

  Materials
  • Promix BR or other growth substrate
  • Ferrous sulfate heptahydrate
  • 20‐20‐20 fertilizer
  • Osmocote 4‐month release fertilizer
  • FFMM seeds
  • Nursery pots:
    • ∼22 cm diameter × 22 cm depth recommended for two plants per pot or
    • ∼15 cm diameter × 17 cm depth recommended for one plant per pot
  • Dust mask
  • Greenhouse (28°C/16 hr light, 25°C/8 hr dark)
  • Ear shoot bags
  • Tassel bags
  • Scissors
  • Non‐skid paperclips
  • Stapler with staples
  • Permanent marker (black)

Alternate Protocol 1: Raising and Crossing Fast‐Flowering Mini‐Maize in the Field

  Materials
  • FFMM seeds
  • Manual seed planter
  • Plastic sheeting and stakes (optional)
  • Irrigation of some form
  • Ear shoot bags
  • Scissors
  • Stapler with staples
  • Tassel bags
  • Fat‐tip permanent marker (black)

Support Protocol 1: Surface Sterilization of Seeds

  Materials
  • Clean water
  • Concentrated bleach (i.e., 8.25% sodium hypochlorite)
  • FFMM ear harvested from the field (see protocol 2Alternate Protocol)
  • 50‐ml conical tubes
  • Lab tape (optional)
  • Shaker (optional)
  • Paper towels (optional)
  • Plastic box (optional; e.g., pipette tip box lids)
  • Plastic wrap (optional)
  • 27°C incubator (optional)
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Figures

Videos

Literature Cited

  Armstrong, C. L., Green, C. E., & Phillips, R. L. (1991). Development and availability of germplasm with high Type‐II culture formation response. Maize Genetics Cooperation Newsletter, 65, 92–93.
  McCaw, M. E., Wallace, J. G., Albert, P. S., Buckler, E. S., & Birchler, J. A. (2016). Fast‐flowering mini‐maize: Seed to seed in 60 days. Genetics, 204, 35–42. doi: 10.1534/genetics.116.191726.
  Salvi, S., Tuberosa, R., Chiapparino, E., Maccaferri, M., Veillet, S., van Beuningen, L., … Phillips, R. L. (2002). Toward positional cloning of Vgt1, a QTL controlling the transition from the vegetative to the reproductive phase in maize. Plant Molecular Biology, 48, 601–613. doi: 10.1023/A:1014838024509.
  Salvi, S., Sponza, G., Morgante, M., Tomes, D., Niu, X., Fengler, K. A., … Tuberosa, R. (2007). Conserved noncoding genomic sequences associated with a flowering‐time quantitative trait locus in maize. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 104, 11376–11381. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0704145104.
  Settles, A. M., Holding, D. R., Tan, B. C., Latshaw, S. P., Liu, J., Suzuki, M., … McCarty, D. R. (2007). Sequence‐indexed mutations in maize using the UniformMu transposon‐tagging population. BMC Genomics, 8, 116. doi: 10.1186/1471‐2164‐8‐116.
Key Reference
  McCaw, et al. (2016). See above.
  Article describing the heredity and development of the Fast‐Flowering Mini‐Maize lines and their characteristics.
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