Discrimination of haploid and diploid maize kernels via multispectral imaging

Gerald N. De La Fuente, Jens Michael Carstensen, Michael Adsetts Edberg Hansen, Thomas Lübberstedt

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The use of doubled haploids (DHs) in maize has become ubiquitous in maize breeding programmes as it allows breeders to go from cross to evaluation in as little as 2 years. Two important aspects of the in vivo DH system used in maize are as follows: (i) the identification of haploid progeny and (ii) doubling of the haploid genome to produce fertile inbred lines. This study is focused on the first step. Currently, identification of maize haploid progeny is performed manually using the R1-nj seed colour marker. This is a labour-intensive and time-consuming process; a method for automated sorting of haploids would increase the efficiency of DH line development. In this study, six inbred lines were crossed with the maternal haploid inducer ‘RWS/RWK-76’ and a sample of seed was sorted manually for each line. Using the VideometerLab 3 system, spectral imaging techniques were applied to discriminate between haploids and hybrids. Using DNA markers to confirm the haploid/diploid state of the tested seed, for the majority of genotypes haploid identification was possible with over 50% accuracy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPlant Breeding
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)50-60
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Automated sorting
  • Diploid
  • Fluorescence
  • Haploid
  • Maize


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