Maize Chromosome Number

Information at a Glance – Chromosome Number of Maize





Chromosome number



Ploidy of Maize

Ploidy is the number of sets of chromosomes in each of the cells in an entity. Maize is diploid.

Also referred to as corn, maize is a cereal grain belonging to Genus Zea, with species name being Z. mays. This facultative short-day plant is diploid, having 20 chromosomes (2n=20, n=10). Some of the chromosomes of maize comprise “chromosomal knobs”, which are the extremely repetitive heterochromatic domains that leave dark stains.

The centromeres comprise two kinds of structural elements; these both are found in the centromeres only – a short satellite DNA, large arrays of CentC and some family of retrotransposons. The centromeres can shrink accidentally at the time of division yet perform their role even though it is deemed that it can fail if it withers under a few hundred kilobases. The kinetochores comprise RNA, which originates from the centromeres.

Inheritance in Maize

Maize is diploid; each of the cells in them comprises two sets of chromosomes, one from each parent (wheat is polyploid). At the time of meiosis, cells undergo division forming gametes wherein cells have one set of chromosomes only to prepare for the process of fertilisation.

At the time of fertilisation, gametes from one parent unite with the gamete of other parents, forming a new individual. Maize is an angiosperm; sections of the carpel that receive pollen is the stigma. The silk in maize is the stigma, and tassels pass the pollen. Each of the silk accepts one pollen grain, which then moves down the silk for fertilisation of the egg at its base.

A silk has one egg at its base that accepts one pollen grain; hence each of the kernels is, in reality, a distinct individual with its own set of genes.

Chances of maize getting into cross-pollination between different plants are less likely. Often, the process of self-pollination results in the vigour getting lost referred to as inbreeding depression. On the contrary, when there is a cross-pollination of two different parents of maize, often the result is the progeny, which is bigger and healthier compared to either of the parents. This process is called heterosis or hybrid vigour.

This was a brief on chromosome number of maize. Visit BYJU’S NEET, for more information and fuel your NEET 2022 Preparation.

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