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Crop Science Abstract -

Effect of Cyclic Selection for High and Low Crushing Strength on Rind, Pith, and Whole Stalk Composition in Corn1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 17 No. 5, p. 732-734
    Received: July 29, 1976

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  1. D. J. Undersander,
  2. L. F. Bauman,
  3. V. L. Lechtenberg and
  4. M. S. Zuber2



Two synthetic corn (Zea mays L.) populations were selected for high and low crushing strength through five cycles of recurrent selection. Stalk sections from the second internode above the ground were collected from the fifth cycle plants. The stalk sections were separated into pith and rind components and analyzed for lignin and cellulose. In one synthetic (MoSQA) the lignin percentages in the stalk sections were 16.6 and 19.2 for low and high crushing strength selections, respectively. Lignin percentages were 15.9 and 17.6, respectively, for the low and high crushing strength selections in the second synthetic (MoSQB). However, stalk lignin percentages for the high and low selections in each population were not significantly different from stalk lignin percentages in the original unselected populations. Lignin percentage of the pith was not affected by selection for crushing strength. In MoSQA the lignin percentage of the rind increased with increased crushing strength. Lignin percentage of the rind in MoSQB did not change. However, the proportion of rind in the stalk changed from 75.8 to 82.1% due to selection for low and high crushing strength.

The changes in stalk composition were small relative to the large differences in crushing strength and lodging percentage between the high and low selections. This suggests that crushing strength and lodging resistance can be increased considerably without greatly affecting the composition, and presumably, the digestibility of corn stover.

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