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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341009

Title: Grain and nutritional quality traits of Southwestern U.S. blue maize landraces

item NANKAR, AMOL - New Mexico State University
item HOLGUIN, OMAR - New Mexico State University
item Scott, Marvin
item PRATT, RICHARD - New Mexico State University

Submitted to: Cereal Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2017
Publication Date: 8/22/2017
Citation: Nankar, A., Holguin, O.F., Scott, M.P., Pratt, R.C. 2017. Grain and nutritional quality traits of Southwestern U.S. blue maize landraces. Cereal Chemistry.

Interpretive Summary: Historically, blue corn was highly valued by indigenous cultures of the Southwestern U.S. and was used as a ceremonial food. Today, blue corn is used to make food products such as blue corn chips and other pigmented foods. The blue pigment may add to the nutritional value of the food. This manuscript examines the chemical composition of a collection of historical blue corn varieties originated from the Southwestern U.S. Some of these varieties have high content of nutrients such as antioxidants and amino acids. This information will help plant breeders develop strategies for improving the nutritional value of corn and adds additional value to this corn which is a historically and culturally significant resource.

Technical Abstract: Anthocyanin-rich pigmented maize has been a key component in socio-cultural life of Native American communities for many centuries. Our research characterizes the grain and nutritional quality traits of southwestern U.S. blue maize landraces. During 2013, six representative accessions and two improved open-pollinated populations were evaluated at four locations in New Mexico. Quantitative analysis of total anthocyanin content (TAC) was done using spectrophotometry whereas qualitative analysis was done using HPLC and LC-MS2. Oil, protein, starch and kernel density were predicted using NIR spectroscopy and amino acid concentrations were evaluated using wet chemistry. Across all locations and accessions, an average of 49.6 mg/100g of TAC was reported with a broader range of 17.6 - 65.1 mg/100g. Highest TAC was seen in the Ohio Blue variety and least in Flor del Rio. Five different anthocyanin components were identified with cyanidin 3-glucoside as major one and peonidin and pelargonidin as minor components. Succinyl and disuccinyl glycosidic forms of cyanidin were also reported. Highest protein and oil content was seen in floury landraces whereas highest starch and kernel density were seen in small flint and dent kernels. Kernel density was reported to be higher in pop-flint and dent landraces whereas the least was reported in floury types. Significant chemical diversity across accessions was also seen for different five out of six amino acids.