Articles

Quality protein introduced into waxy maize landraces of ethnic minorities


Abstract


Ethnic minorities in South East Asia use waxy maize as a staple food, lacking in essential amino acids. Recently, we combined the recessive waxy and opaque2 alleles to double quality grains (w/o, pure amylopectin, high quality protein), which still must be introgressed into germplasm acceptable to ethnic minorities. Two w/o lines of Chinese and Thai background, respectively, were crossed once with two Vietnamese waxy landraces of good taste, WVN 3 and WVN 10. At the preferred harvest time for eating, dough stage, homozygous w/o F2 offspring with WVN 3 were equal in dehusked ear yield with commercial waxy hybrids and 40% superior in yield compared with WVN 10 F2 offsprings. In WVN 3 F2 crosses and F2 backcrosses with WVN 3, all w/o dehusked ears were equal in eat¬ing quality, grain protein content and a good leaf health; but the yield of dehusked ears and the grain tryptophan content was highest in the topcross. High quality germplasm is available now as a source of high quality protein for ethnic minorities. The two original w/o lines led to equal results in crosses with landraces, but their test hybrid was extremely high-yielding, indicating a good potential to breed for commercial high protein quality snacks in South East Asia.

Keywords

Zea mays L, ethnic minorities; South East Asia; protein quality

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