3. Glumeless hybrid sweet corn.


Work with Sprague's vestigial glume (Vg) gene in developing a technique for its practical use as a quality factor in hybrid sweet corn has continued. In the process of backcrossing the Vg gene into several sweet corn seed parents, Vg modified types with tassel glumes 1/3 and 2/3 normal length appeared. Since these tassels shed pollen almost as abundantly as a normal tassel, homozygous Vg Vg inbreds may easily be established. The somewhat complicated technique outlined in the 1950 volume of the News Letter for obtaining Vg pollen becomes unnecessary with the use of the modifiers. The glume on the ear of the modified types is, at most, not long enough to form obnoxious chaff. By the proper application of genetic technique, the use of Vg in hybrid sweet corn is now feasible.


In case it is found that the modified Vg pollen shedder tassels do not produce sufficient pollen in the famer's field to give a good ear set, some seed of a normal glumed hybrid would have to be mixed in with the final seed product. This pollinator variety should have a distinctive ear type or color so that its ears can be picked out from the glumeless hybrid ears during the routine sorting process.