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Characterization of crtRB1- and vte4-based biofortified sweet corn inbreds for seed vigour and physico-biochemical traits


Sweet corn possessing recessive shrunken2 (sh2) gene is popular worldwide. Traditional sweet corn is poor in vitamin A and vitamin E. Plant breeders during the selection of sweet corn genotypes mainly emphasize on plant architecture and yield. Seed germination and seedling vigour play important role for early establishment in field, thereby increasing yield and income. Here, we analysed a set of 15 sh2-based biofortified sweet corn inbreds with crtRB1 (β-carotene hydroxylase1) and vte4 (γ-tocopherol methyltransferase) genes and three traditional sh2-based sweet corn inbreds for nutritional quality, seed vigour and various physico-biochemical traits. The newly developed inbreds possessed significantly higher provitamin A (proA: 15.60 µg/g) and vitamin E [α-tocopherol (α-T): 20.42 µg/g] than the traditional sweet corn inbreds (proA: 2.51 µg/g, α-T: 11.16 µg/g). The biofortified sweet corn inbreds showed wide variation for germination (80.67–87.33%), vigour index-I (2097.17–2925.28 cm), vigour index-II (134.27–216.19 mg) and electrical conductivity (10.19–13.21 μS cm−1 g−1). Wide variation was also observed for dehydrogenase (1.29–1.59 OD g−1 ml−1), super oxide dismutase (4.01–9.82 g−1), peroxidase (11.66–16.47 μM min−1 g−1), esterase (22.98–34.76 nM min−1 g−1) and α-amylase (5.91–8.15 OD g−1 ml−1). Enrichment of proA and vitamin E in sweet corn did not affect seed vigour and physico-biochemical traits. Correlation analysis revealed that electrical conductivity and α-amylase activity was the reliable indicator for assessing seed germination and vigour. The study identified superior biofortified sweet corn genotypes that would contribute to better vigour and establishment in field. This is the first report of analysis of biofortified sweet corn genotypes for seed vigour and physico-biochemical traits.

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IARI, New Delhi is duly acknowledged for providing the field and lab facilities for undertaking the work.


The funding of DBT-Network project on “Enrichment of nutritional quality in maize through molecular breeding” (BT/PR10922/AGII/106/944/2014) and ICAR-Consortia Research Platform on “Molecular breeding for improvement of tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses, yield and quality traits in crops—Maize component” (IARI Project Code No.: 12-143C), in supporting the study is duly acknowledged.

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Conduct of the experiment: HSC. Development and maintenance of the inbreds: VM. Analysis of seed vigour traits: SB. Analysis of physico-biochemical traits: AA. Selfing of sweet corn inbreds and sample preparation: BKM. Estimation of carotenoids and tocopherols: NG. Statistical analysis: RUZ. Drafting of manuscript: HSC, BKM and FH. Design of experiment: FH, TR, AKS and HSG. Generation of fund: FH, HSG and AKS.

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Correspondence to Firoz Hossain.

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The authors declare no competing interest.

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Communicated by: Izabela Pawłowicz

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Chauhan, H.S., Muthusamy, V., Rashmi, T. et al. Characterization of crtRB1- and vte4-based biofortified sweet corn inbreds for seed vigour and physico-biochemical traits. J Appl Genetics (2022).

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  • Sweet corn
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Enzyme
  • Germination
  • Vigour