A Correlation between Gametophytic and Sporophytic Characteristics in Zea mays L

Science  19 Mar 1971:
Vol. 171, Issue 3976, pp. 1155-1156
DOI: 10.1126/science.171.3976.1155


If a mixture of types of corn pollen, identified by genetic markers, is applied to the silks of other inbred lines, the rate of pollen tube growth often varies with type of pollen. This gametophytic differential is correlated with a sporophytic differential—relatively heavier seeds in seed mixtures result from fertilization by gametes from faster growing tubes. The increased seed weight is due to greater competitive ability of the zygotes thus formed.