Genetic studies regarding the control of seed pigmentation of an ancient European pointed maize (Zea mays L.) rich in phlobaphenes: the “Nero Spinoso” from the Camonica valley
- 311 Downloads
Several preclinical studies have suggested that the regular consumption of flavonoid-rich foods is associated to a reduced risk of chronic diseases. For this reason, in the last years a renewed interest for the ancient landraces rich in flavonoids or other bioactive molecules is growing. Preservation and valorisation of these ancient landraces is very important, not only for economic considerations regarding the farmers within the small rural communities, where the particular maize germplasm has been developed, but also from a scientific point of view. In this work we characterized the ancient cultivar named “Nero Spinoso” from the Camonica valley, the biggest valley in the north-west region of Lombardy (Italy). The peculiarity of this landrace is the colour and the pointed shape of the kernels. We showed after spectrophotometric and TLC analysis that this variety accumulates high amounts of phlobaphenes (320 A510/100 g flour). Genetic data demonstrate that phlobaphene pigmentation is under the control of a monogenic dominant gene. Further mapping and sequencing data showed that the pigmentation is driven by the presence of a strong allele of Pericarp 1 (P1) gene, a transcription factor belonging to the myb transcription factor gene family. The “Nero Spinoso” variety represents an ancient landrace that could be considered a real functional food and a useful tool in future breeding programmes.
KeywordsFlint maize Landraces Pericarp 1 gene Phlobaphenes Pointed maize Zea mays
We wish to thank Dr. Davide Reginelli and Dr. Mariarosa Buffoli for their hard work in the field and Dr. Lesley Currah for her editing and suggestions. This study was partly supported by “Accordo di Programma, affermazione in Edolo del Centro di Eccellenza Università della Montagna” MIUR-Università degli Studi di Milano, Prot. No. 386 1293-05/08/2011 and by Fondazione della Comunità Bresciana-Onlus.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Brandolini A (1958) Il germoplasma del mais e la sua conservazione. Maydica 3:4–14Google Scholar
- Brandolini A, Brandolini A (2009) Maize introduction, evolution and diffusion in Italy. Maydica 54:233–242Google Scholar
- Lago C, Landoni M, Cassani E, Attanasiu S, Cantaluppi E, Pilu R (2014b) Development and characterization of a coloured sweet corn line as a new functional food. Maydica 59:191–200Google Scholar
- Lago C, Landoni M, Cassani E, Cantaluppi E, Doria E, Nielsen E, Giorgi A, Pilu R (2015) Study and characterization of an ancient European flint white maize rich in anthocyanins: Millo Corvo from Galicia. PLoS ONE 10(5):e0126521. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0126521 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Mangelsdorf PC, Reeves RG (1959) The origin of com. III. Modern races, the product of teosinte introgression. Bot Mus LeaH Harvard Univ 18:389–411Google Scholar
- Messedaglia L (1924) Notizie storiche sul mais. Quaderno mensile No. 7. Sez. Credito Agrario Istituto Federale Credito del Risorgimento delle Venezie, Verona, ItalyGoogle Scholar
- Mir C, Zerjal T, Combes V, Dumas F, Madur D, Bedoya C, Dreisigacker S, Franco J, Grudloyma P, Hao PX, Hearne S, Jampatong C, Laloë D, Muthamia Z, Nguyen T, Prasanna BM, Taba S, Xie CX, Yunus M, Zhang S, Warburton ML, Charcosset A (2013) Out of America: tracing the genetic footprints of the global diffusion of maize. Theor Appl Genet 126:2671–2682CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Morohashi K, Casas MI, Falcone Ferreyra ML, Mejía-Guerra MK, Pourcel L, Yilmaz A, Feller A, Carvalho B, Emiliani J, Rodriguez E, Pellegrinet S, McMullen M, Casati P, Grotewold E (2012) A genome-wide regulatory framework identifies maize Pericarp Color1 controlled genes. Plant Cell 24(7):2745–2764CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Warburton ML, Reif JC, Frisch M, Bohn M, Bedoya C, Xia XC, Crossa J, Franco J, Hoisington D, Pixley K, Taba S, Melchinger AE (2008) Genetic diversity in CIMMYT nontemperate maize germplasm: landraces, open pollinated varieties, and inbred lines. Crop Sci 48(2):617–624. doi: 10.2135/cropsci2007.02.0103 CrossRefGoogle Scholar