A chromosome doubling technique, involving colchicine treatment of an embryogenic, haploid callus line of maize (Zea mays L., derived through anther culture), was evaluated. Two colchicine levels (0.025% and 0.05%) and three treatment durations (24, 48, and 72 h) were used and compared to untreated controls. Chromosome counts and seed recovery from regenerated plants were determined. No doubled haploid plants were regenerated from calli without colchicine treatment. After treatment with colchicine for 24 h, the callus tissue regenerated about 50% doubled haploid plants. All of the plants regenerated from the calli treated with colchicine for 72 h were doubled haploids, except for a few tetraploid plants. No significant difference in chromosome doubling was observed between the two colchicine levels. Most of the doubled haploid plants produced viable pollen and a total of 107 of 136 doubled haploid plants produced from 1 to 256 seeds. Less extensive studies with two other genotypes gave similar results. These results demonstrate that colchicine treatment of haploid callus tissue can be a very effective and relatively easy method of obtaining a high frequency of doubled haploid plants through anther culture.
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