Characterization of the biochemical and nutritional content in simple white grain maize (Zea mays L.) crosses


Francisco J. Sánchez-Ramírez
M.C. Mendoza-Castillo
C.G. Mendoza-Mendoza
A. Delgado-Alvarado


Zea mays L., corn breeding, starch, oil, phytic acid



Objective: To characterize the nutritional and biochemical content of 25 genotypes: 5 S4 inbred lines and the 20 possible single crosses formed between them.

Design/Methodology/Approach: The content of oil, starch, protein, ash and phytic acid was determined in kernels of each genotype, using the American Association of Cereal Chemists’ methods; the information obtained was analyzed by a complete randomized experimental design and Tukey’s means tests.

Results: For the parents and the crosses, correspondingly, the intervals of the substances under study were: a) Oil: from 5.99 to 3.84 and 6.40 to 3.55 g ∙ 100 g-1, b) Protein:  from 8.26 to 5.43 and 9.83 to 5.56 g ∙ 100 g-1, c) Starch: from 88.25 to 74.48 and 96.64 to 72.57 g ∙ 100 g-1, d) Ash: from 1.90 to 1.20 and 2.0 to 0.89 g ∙ 100 g-1, e) Phytic acid: from 2.40 to 1.08 and 2.29 to 1.11 g ∙ 100 g-1.

Study Limitations/Implications: The study shows that in comparison to the parents, the crosses were only significantly superior in the content of starch, although there were statistical differences of the contents within each group. The crosses that showed higher contents for a nutritional component were those in which at least one parent had a high composition of the nutrient.

Findings/Conclusions: The variation in the nutritional and biochemical content showed that there is diversity among genotypes, which is linked to the contrasting genetic origin of the inbred lines and is feasible to be used. This research showed the potential of taking advantage of the nutritional components of white maize through crosses (specially its starch content).

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