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Crop Science Abstract -

Heritability of Product Fractions from Wet Milling and Related Properties of Maize Grain


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 36 No. 5, p. 1159-1165
    Received: Oct 23, 1995

    * Corresponding author(s): bzehr@dept.agry.purdue.edu
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  1. B. E. Zehr ,
  2. S. R. Eckhoff,
  3. W. E. Nyquist and
  4. P. L. Keeling
  1. Dep. of Agronomy, Purdue Univ., 1150 Lilly Hall, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1150
    Dep. of Agricultural Engineering, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801
    ExSeed Genetics L.L.C., Ames, IA 50011



Wet milling is an important use of maize (Zea mays L.) grain produced in the USA, and commercial wet millers and hybrid seed companies are increasingly interested in hybrids which have enhanced milling properties. Because of the cumbersome nature of traditional laboratory wet-milling procedures, relatively little information is available regarding inheritance of wet-milling product fractions. In this study, the inheritance of maize wet-milling product fractions was evaluated in grain of 40 full-sib families from a Design I mating (20 males; two females per male) and a newly developed, rapid, laboratory milling procedure. The narrow-sense heritability estimate of male-family means for the starch fraction was 0.73. Predicted gain from selection with a conservative heritability estimate was 7.4 g kg−1 per cycle for the starch fraction. Phenotypic and genetic correlation coefficients between the wet-milling starch fraction and initial starch concentration, measured by near-infrared reflectance, were significant (0.79 and 0.89, respectively). Significant phenotypic and genetic correlation coefficients were observed between a wet-milling index and an index based on near-infrared reflectance. Relative rankings of check hybrids were significantly different between these two indices. Results from this study indicated product fractions from maize wet milling are heritable, and thus modifiable through selection. Genetic correlation coefficients suggested that selection for increased starch extractability from wet milling could be accomplished by using near-infrared reflectance to measure starch concentration. Changes in hybrid rank among wet-milling and near-infrared reflectance indices suggested that final selections of candidate hybrids for specific milling applications should be based on actual wet-milling evaluation.

Journal Paper no. 14825 of the Purdue Univ. Agric. Res. Programs.

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