Staining techniques to ascertain CMS/FR system in maize (Zea mays L.) for hybrid development
CMS system for Maize Hybrid development
The major hurdle impeding the wide adoption of hybrid maize, in developing countries particularly in high altitudes of Indian Himalayas has been the cost consideration. Hybrid maize seed is generally 4-10 times more expensive than the seed of OPVs and often beyond the purchasing power of poor farmers having limited resources and little access to the credit facilities. The seed production costs therefore, need to be reduced drastically to make it available to the farmers at affordable prices. Currently the hybrid maize seed is produced by detasseling of seed parent is labour intensive and costs 280-300 US dollars per hectare. Cytoplasmic male sterility (genetic emasculation) therefore, has been looked since long back as a sound and sustainable alternative to bring down the hybrid seed production costs besides adding purity to the end product. CMS plants are characterised by their inability to produce viable pollen while having little or no effect on female fertility. The unique pattern of inheritance (CMS is transmitted only through female parent) has enabled the CMS trait to be of great utility to plant breeders and the commercial seed industry. Staining techniques used in present investigation helped in objective classification of maize pollen into fertile and sterile phenotypes in maize.