Genome Size Variation in Maize Populations Selected for Cold Tolerance

L. M. McMurphy, A. Lane Rayburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous studies have indicated a relationship between genome size and cold tolerance in plants. Many species adapted to growth in cool environments have large genome sizes. These studies are based on interspecific DNA content variation. In this study, the nuclear DNA content of eight maize populations was determined. These populations were obtained from the University of Nebraska and represent populations selected for cold tolerance and their respective unselected original populations. Intraspecific DNA content variation was observed between the selected and unselected populations. Upon assessing the data based solely on cold tolerance, no clear relationship between genome size and cold tolerance was apparent. When both freeze tolerance and cold tolerance were considered, populations which were cold tolerant and exhibited a certain degree of freeze tolerance were observed to have significantly larger genomes relative to the unselected populations. Thus, it appears that the relationship between intraspecific genome size variation and cold tolerance is similar to the relationship between interspecific genome size variation and growth at cooler temperatures in plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-195
Number of pages6
JournalPlant Breeding
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1991


  • Zea mays
  • adaptation
  • flow cytometry
  • freeze tolerance
  • genome size

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Genome Size Variation in Maize Populations Selected for Cold Tolerance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this