Anther culture of maize and the visualization of embryogenic microspores by fluorescent microscopy

G. M. Pace, J. N. Reed, L. C. Ho, J. W. Fahey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Three maize genotypes previously shown in the literature to respond to anther culture were tested under various conditions. Studies indicated that embryogenic response ranged from 0 to 100 embryos per 1,000 anthers plated and was significantly lower without cold pretreatment of the anthers. Culture in liquid media tended to produce more embryos than in semi-solid as did the addition of activated charcoal to either liquid or solid culture media. Most results were confounded by plant-to-plant variation which tended to obscure significant differences. In one study, germination rate of androgenetic embryos averaged about 20%, but only 26% of those embryos that germinated completed their reproductive cycle and formed seed albeit through sibpollination since plants could not be selfed. Chromosome counts using root tip squashes indicated that regenerated plants were either haploid or diploid but plants scored as non-diploid yielded as much seed as scored diploids. This suggests that progeny can be recovered even from putative haploids, presumably as a result of "sectoring" in the developing ear. A DNA-specific fluorescent dye was used to visualize the presence of putative embryogenic microspores (PEMs) during the culture period. PEM counts were a function of time in culture and were apparently greater than the number of embryos obtained for a given treatment. The data indicate that, as previously reported for other species, both induction and survival phases also exist in maize anther culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-869
Number of pages7
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 1 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Androgenesis
  • Anther culture
  • Fluorescent microscopy
  • Maize
  • Zea mays L.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics


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