Biochemical and physical kernel properties of a standard maize hybrid in different TopCross™ Blends


Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.)




ABSTRACT A pilot experiment was undertaken in order to examine high oil populations of maize (Zea mays L.) to be used as pollinators in TopCross blends with commercial ZP341 standard hybrid. Five high oil populations (HOPs) from the Maize Research Institute (MRI) gene bank were chosen for this research, according to their high grain oil content, synchrony between silking of ZP341 and anthesis of the populations and good agronomic performances in 2012. Selfing of ZP341 and HOPs, as well as crosses of ZP341 cmsS sterile × HOPs were carried out in 2013. Oil content, fatty acid composition, protein and tryptophan content, and physical characteristics of the obtained kernels were measured. Four HOPs showed significant positive influence on the oil content in the TopCrosses (TC), 16.85 g kg−1 on average. Oleic acid, which is the principal monounsaturated fatty acid, was significantly lower in all HOPs and all TCs, while selfed ZP341 had almost twice the average value typical for standard maize. However, this decrease in TCs was in a narrow range from 1 % (in TC-3) to 5 % (in TC-4) and the oleic content of TCs was on average higher by 60 % compared to the typical standard maize. Different favorable and unfavorable significant changes were detected in fatty acid compositions, protein and tryptophan contents and physical kernel properties for each potential TC combination. Results indicate differences in gene effects present in different TC combinations and underscore the need to examine each potential TC blend by conducting similar simple experiments.

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