maize pollination

Marty Sachs msachs at
Wed Nov 30 17:17:12 EST 1994

In article <Czzs7L.5vv at>, ksnetsel at (Karen Snetselaar) wrote:

:Could some of you folks with maize experience point me in the
:direction of information on how best to store maize pollen, and
:how to efficiently pollinate maize plants in growth chambers?
:I am having trouble finding this basic information.
:Email is best, and thank you very much.
:Karen Snetselaar
:Asst. Professor of Biology
:St. Joseph's University
:ksnetsel at

In terms of storing pollen, there have been some references to methods
(see below those I've collected).  I'm not sure how repeatable these
methods are.  I have had some luck extending the life of maize tassels for
two weeks or so by cutting it off the plant when they start shedding
pollen, and placing its stem in a flask with water at 4 degrees C (sort of
like a cut flower).  Remove from cold storage the day before you desire

As for growth chamber growing of maize, it is possible either with a very
large growth chamber or by using a small variety such as Gaspe Flint.

Good Luck.        -Marty Sachs


Barnabás, B. and E. Rajki   Storage of maize (Zea mays L.) pollen at 196°
C in  liquid nitrogen  Euphytica 25: 747-752   1976

Barnabás, B. and E. Rajki  Fertility of deep-frozen maize (Zea mays L.)
pollen   Ann. Bot. 48: 861-864   1981

Barnabás, B., G. Kovacs, A. Abranyi, and P. Pfahler    Effect of pollen
storage by drying and deep freezing on the expression of different
agronomic traits in maize  Euphytica  39: 221-225  1988

Greyson, R.I., D.R. Pareddy, V.R. Bommineni and D.B. Walden   The use of
in vitro methods in the production of pollen  in: Biotechnology and
Ecology of Pollen. D.L. Mulcahy, G.B. Mulcahy and E. Ottaviano, eds. Pp.
135-137. Springer-Verlag 1986

Nath, J. and J.O. Anderson  Effect of freezing and freeze-drying on the
viability and storage of Lilium longiflorum L. and Zea mays L. pollen
Cryobiology 12: 81-88   1975

Pfahler, P.L.  Pollen storage effects on early seedling growth in maize
in: Biotechnology and Ecology of Pollen. D.L. Mulcahy, G.B. Mulcahy and E.
Ottaviano, eds. Pp. 147-152. Springer-Verlag  1986

Marty Sachs              
USDA/ARS & Agronomy/UIUC    msachs at [internet]
S108 Turner Hall            msachs at UIUCVMD [bitnet] 
1102 S. Goodwin Ave.        (217) 244-0864 [phone]
Urbana, IL  61801-4798      (217) 333-6064 [FAX]

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