Hybrid seed production in corn with glyphosate-mediated male sterility. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Improving hybrid seed production in corn with glyphosate-mediated male sterility.
Pest Manag Sci. 2014 Feb ;70(2):212-8. Epub 2013 May 24. PMID: 23460547
Paul C C Feng
BACKGROUND: Hybrid corn varieties exhibit benefits associated with heterosis and account for most of the corn acreage in the USA. Hybrid seed corn is produced by crossing a female parent which is male-sterile and therefore incapable of self-pollination with a male parent as the pollen donor. The majority of hybrid seed corn is produced by mechanical detasseling which involves physically removing the tassel, a process that is laborious and costly.
RESULTS: Glyphosate-resistant corn was developed via expression of a glyphosate insensitive 5-enolpyruvyl-shikimate 3-phosphate synthase enzyme (CP4-EPSPS). Experimentation with molecular expression elements resulted in selective reduction of CP4-EPSPS expression in male reproductive tissues. The resulting plant demonstrated sterile tassel following glyphosate application with little to no injury to the rest of the plant. Using (14)C-glyphosate as a marker, we also examined the translocation of glyphosate to the tassel via spray application in a track sprayer to simulate field application. The results allowed optimization of spray parameters such as dose, spray timing and target to maximize tassel delivery of glyphosate for efficient sterilization.
CONCLUSION: The Roundup hybridization system (RHS) is a novel process for hybrid seed production based on glyphosate-mediated male sterility. RHS replaces mechanical detasseling with glyphosate spray and greatly simplifies the process of hybrid seed corn production.