Genetic Analyses of Kernel Carotenoids in Novel Maize Genotypes Possessing Rare Allele of β-carotene hydroxylase Gene
Carotenoids are important micronutrients required by humans for growth and development. Yellow maize among cereals possesses sufficient carotenoids, and thus, it is important to genetically dissect such traits for proper utilization in breeding programme. Twenty-one maize hybrids generated using novel inbreds with rare allele of β-carotene hydroxylase (crtRB1) that enhances kernel β-carotene, were evaluated at two diverse maize growing locations. Lutein, zeaxanthin and β-cryptoxanthin were positively correlated, while β-carotene showed negative correlation with other carotenoids. Grain yield did not show association with carotenoids. Preponderance of additive gene action was observed for lutein, zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin and β-carotene. Experimental hybrids were much superior for kernel β-carotene compared to commercial hybrids. Based on SCA effects, high yielding experimental hybrids were identified for provitamin A and non-provitamin A carotenoids. These novel hybrid combinations of maize possessing rare allele of crtRB1 hold promise in maize biofortification programme to alleviate vitamin A deficiency and degenerative diseases in humans.
Keywordsbiofortification crtRB1 carotenoids combining ability Zea mays
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