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  • 1 Hungarian Academy of Sciences Agricultural Institute, Centre for Agricultural Research Martonvásár Hungary
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The aim of the present study was to examine whether the induction of maize microspore embryogenesis could be triggered by the application of biogenic alcohols, as was reported earlier in wheat. A single cross hybrid (A 18) raised in the phytotron was used as anther donor for shed microspore cultures after cold pretreatment. At the onset of culturing, anthers in liquid YP medium were treated with 0.2 or 0.4% n-butanol or with 2 mM aminoethanol (2-AE) for 6 or 18 hours.The treatments caused a drastic (approx. 50%) decrease in the viability of the microspores. After a few days of culture in medium containing neither n-butanol nor 2-AE, 9-13% of the microspores remained alive and capable of switching to the sporophytic pathway of development.Treatment with 0.2% n-butanol for 6 h considerably increased the frequency of symmetric nuclear divisions (more than 3×) and of induced microspores (2×). The embryo yield was also elevated by 10%. The results showed that n-butanol could be used to improve the androgenic response and microspore embryogenesis in maize, but not as efficiently as in wheat. Further examination will be required to find the reasons for the different behaviour of microspores of the two species.

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