Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



Investigation with mutagenic agents to increase variability in plants have met with some success in the improvement of agronomic crops. One such agent is colchicine, a poisonous alkaloid extracted from the autumn-flowering crocus (Colchicum autumale L.). Evidence of the mutagenic nature of colchicine without changing the chromosome numbers, has been shown in sorghum. Observations of the variability induced in sorghum lines by colchicine treatment inspired the present study which was undertaken to determine what effects this chemical might have on an inbred line of corn. Results similar to those in sorghum could be of utmost importance in corn breeding since desirable mutants in elite inbred lines might be produced and fixed without resorting to the slow and laborious method of outcrossing with subsequent inbreeding. The inbred used in the study was SD 7. It had previously been treated with colchicine and in the resulting progenies there were several derivatives which varied in their reaction to smut. The most resistant derivative to smut and the original, untreated inbred were selected for further study.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Corn -- Breeding


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University