Factors in Interstrain Variation in Zinc Content of Maize (Zea mays L.) Kernels1
- H. F. Massey and
- Frank A. Loeffel2
In 31 inbred lines of maize, which varied widely in Zn concentration of the kernels, the germ (plus embryo), pericarp, and endosperm were found on the average to contain 138, 46, and 9.9 ppm Zn, respectively. The concentration of Zn in each of these kernel components varied widely among the 31 inbreds, however, and the concentration of Zn in the kernel could not be predicted from the relative size of the kernel components. In greenhouse experiments with 32 inbreds, Zn concentration in the kernel was not correlated with Zn uptake by plants or Zn concentration in plants grown on either Zn-deficient or Zn-fertilized soil. In field experiments, however, variation among inbred lines in their concentration of Zn in the kernel did appear to be related to the general level of Zn in the plant, but this factor was greatly modified by the extent to which the inbred was able to transfer Zn from the stalk and leaves to the ear. Inbreds Ky211 and Ky209 transferred approximately one-third of their stalk and leaf Zn to the ear during grain formation. Approximately one-fourth of die gain in ear Zn from tasseling to maturity by Ky209 × Ky21l could be accounted for by transfer from the stalk and a slight additional amount by transfer from the leaves.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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