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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #309632

Title: Recurrent selection to alter grain phytic acid concentration and iron bioavailability

item BEAVERS, ALYSSA - Iowa State University
item GOGGI, SUSANA - Iowa State University
item REDDY, MANJU - Iowa State University
item Moran Lauter, Adrienne
item Scott, Marvin

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/17/2015
Publication Date: 7/2/2015
Citation: Beavers, A., Goggi, S., Reddy, M., Moran Lauter, A., Scott, M.P. 2015. Recurrent selection to alter grain phytic acid concentration and iron bioavailability. Crop Science. 55:1-8. DOI: 10.2135/cropsci2014.12.0807.

Interpretive Summary: Phytic acid is a chemical that accumulates in the grain of corn. It is important for seed germination, but in grain used for animal feed, it causes enviromental problems, increasing the tendency of animal waste to cause algae blooms lakes and rivers. Researchers have tried to reduce phytic acid using mutations, but this approach often results in reduced seed germination. We demonstrate that it is possible to reduce phytic acid content without reducing seed germination by traditional plant breeding. Futhermore, this approach to phytic acid reduction increases the amount of iron in the grain that is available for nutrition. This work illustrates a new approach for producing maize varieties that are better for the environment and more nutritious.

Technical Abstract: Most of the phosphorus (P) in cereal grains is in the form of phytic acid, a potent inhibitor of iron absorption that cannot be digested by monogastric livestock or humans. High phytate content in staple crops contributes to the high incidence of iron deficiency in developing countries. Low phytic acid (lpa) maize mutants are seen as a potential strategy to improve iron bioavailability, but they have poor seed quality. Our objective was to develop both low and high phytic acid maize populations using recurrent selection, and to determine if low phytic acid maize developed through this method has improved seed quality and iron bioavailability when compared to lpa mutant maize. Three cycles of selection were carried out in two broad-based synthetic populations, BS11 and BS31. Our research found that recurrent selection produced a significant difference in phytic acid content between the high and low BS11 populations (P<0.05), but not in the BS31 populations (P>0.05). The BS11LPA maize population had improved seed germination relative to lpa mutant inbred lines (13-16%, P<0.05), and similar iron bioavailability (P>0.05).