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Recurrent Selection to Alter Grain Methionine Concentration and Improve Nutritional Value of Maize
Crop Science
  • M. Paul Scott, United States Department of Agriculture
  • Audrey Darrigues, Iowa State University
  • Timothy S. Stahly, Iowa State University
  • Kendall R. Lamkey, Iowa State University
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Methionine is an essential amino acid that is limiting in maize- (Zea mays L.) based diets. The objective of this work was to determine whether we could alter grain methionine concentration in random-mated maize populations by mass selection for methionine concentration using a microbial assay. In one study, we developed two populations by selecting for high or low methionine concentration (HM or LM, respectively) for three generations starting from the random-mated population BS11. Grain from these populations was used to formulate diets for a feeding trial in which 15 rats were fed HM grain and 15 rats were fed LM grain. Rats on the HM diet had a 0.018 higher feed efficiency (g gain/g feed) than rats on the LM diet. In a second study, we performed three cycles of selection for high or low methionine concentration starting with two random-mated populations, BS11 and BS31. We evaluated each cycle of selection in a field trial with two replications in each of two years. Methionine concentration was significantly correlated with the cycle of selection, changing on average 0.004 g methionine/100 g grain per cycle. Kernel mass, %N, oil, protein, starch, tryptophan, and lysine concentration did not exhibit significant correlations with cycle of selection. We conclude that recurrent selection for grain methionine concentration using a microbial assay is an effective method to alter methionine content.

This article is from Crop Science 48 (2008): 1705–1713, doi:10.2135/cropsci2008.01.0010. Posted with permission.

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.
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M. Paul Scott, Audrey Darrigues, Timothy S. Stahly and Kendall R. Lamkey. "Recurrent Selection to Alter Grain Methionine Concentration and Improve Nutritional Value of Maize" Crop Science Vol. 48 Iss. 5 (2008) p. 1705 - 1713
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