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Agronomic and Kernel Compositional Traits of Blue Maize Landraces from the Southwestern United States
Crop Science
  • Amol Nankar, New Mexico State University
  • Lois Grant, New Mexico State University
  • Paul Scott, United States Department of Agriculture
  • Richard C. Pratt, New Mexico State University
Document Type
Article
Publication Version
Published Version
Publication Date
1-1-2016
DOI
10.2135/cropsci2015.12.0773
Abstract
Diverse landraces of maize have been cultivated for centuries in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico primarily for human food consumption. A striking feature of these landraces is the wide array of kernel colors displayed. Traditional cultivation is declining, but blue maize has received increasing commercial interest due to rising consumer demand for unique food products with health benefits and special culinary uses. We evaluated grain yield, agronomic and morphological traits, and analyzed the kernel biochemical composition of five blue and one purple landraces representative of diversity in the Southwest. These were compared with selected open-pollinated populations derived from Southwest and Corn Belt blue maize at several New Mexico locations in 2012 and 2013. Kernel amino acids, oil, protein, starch, fatty acids, crude fiber, ash and anthocyanin pigment contents were determined. Grain yield across all locations, years, and accessions averaged 2.11 Mg ha−1. Navajo Blue and Hopi Blue were the highest and lowest yielding accessions, respectively. The majority of southwestern landraces displayed higher oil content, and two displayed higher protein content, than the Corn Belt Dent variety. Little variation in total amino acid content was observed. Several southwestern floury accessions displayed ∼10% greater lysine and methionine than did dent or flint genotypes. Considerable variation for plant, ear, and kernel compositional traits within and across southwestern landraces was consistent with the presence of racial admixtures. The health-promoting properties of anthocyanin-rich landraces contribute to sound dietary nutrition and human health. This study further illustrates the diversity of southwestern maize and supports the rationale for their continued conservation through sustained cultivation and utilization. Directed selection to improve grain yield and uniformity will be necessary to enhance their potential for commercial production.
Comments

This article is published as Nankar, Amol, Lois Grant, Paul Scott, and Richard C. Pratt. "Agronomic and Kernel Compositional Traits of Blue Maize Landraces from the Southwestern United States." Crop Science 56, no. 5 (2016): 2663-2674, doi: 10.2135/cropsci2015.12.0773.

Rights
Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.
Language
en
File Format
application/pdf
Citation Information
Amol Nankar, Lois Grant, Paul Scott and Richard C. Pratt. "Agronomic and Kernel Compositional Traits of Blue Maize Landraces from the Southwestern United States" Crop Science Vol. 56 Iss. 5 (2016) p. 2663 - 2674
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/paul-scott/36/