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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 38 No. 2, p. 363-367
    Received: Dec 27, 1996

    * Corresponding author(s): Mike_Letchworth@cargill.com
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Pollen Parent Effects on Oil, Protein, and Starch Concentration in Maize Kernels

  1. M. B. Letchworth  and
  2. R. J. Lambert
  1. C argill Hybrid Seeds, P.O. Box 139, Sidney, IL 61877
    D ep. of Crop Sci., Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801



The ability to evaluate maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids and inbreds for grain quality traits is important. Twelve maize hybrids were grown in research plots under open-pollinated (OP) and self-pollinated (SP) conditions to determine pollen source effects on kernel oil, protein, and starch concentrations. Self-pollinated kernels were higher in protein concentration than OP kernels but hybrid rank did not change within pollination treatments. Evaluation of reciprocal crosses indicated a strong maternal effect for protein concentration and no pollen effect. Field evaluations of hybrids for protein concentration are feasible under OP small plot conditions. Oil concentration was significantly higher in OP kernels than in SP kernels. Significant differences among hybrids for oil concentration indicated a maternal effect, and data from reciprocal crosses indicated a pollen effect. Although the range in oil concentration for the hybrids was relatively narrow (41–55 kg−1), rankings of the three highest and three lowest hybrids for oil concentration did not change within pollination treatments. Field evaluations with OP will separate genotypes with extreme oil concentrations, but accurate determinations of oil concentration should be conducted under SP or sib-poilinated conditions. Open-pollinated kernels were higher in starch concentration than SP kernels. Reciprocal crosses indicated a maternal effect for starch concentration and no pollen effect. Field evaluations for starch concentration are feasible under OP research plot conditions. Significant differences existed for kernel weight, kernel size, and kernel density among the maize hybrids within pollination treatments.

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