Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #369996

Research Project: Genetic Optimization of Maize for Different Production Environments

Location: Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research

Title: Quantitative inheritance of total anthocyanin content in the tassel of small-ear waxy corn (Zea mays var. ceratina)

item DUANGPAPENG, PRAKASIT - Khon Kaen University
item LERTRAT, KAMOL - Khon Kaen University
item LOMTHIASONG, KHOMSORN - Khon Kaen University
item AGUILAR, FERNANDO - Iowa State University
item Scott, Marvin
item SURIHARN, BHALANG - Khon Kaen University

Submitted to: SABRAO J. of Breeding and Genetics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2020
Publication Date: 1/28/2020
Citation: Duangpapeng, P., Lertrat, K., Lomthiasong, K., Aguilar, F., Scott, M.P., Suriharn, B. 2020. Quantitative inheritance of total anthocyanin content in the tassel of small-ear waxy corn (Zea mays var. ceratina). SABRAO J. of Breeding and Genetics. 52(1):30-44.

Interpretive Summary: Corn breeders develop new varieties by crossing plants and observing the characteristics of the resulting plants. In order to predict the characteristics of plants of a given cross, breeders develop quantitative genetic models. Purple coloration of plant tassels is an economically important trait because pigments can be extracted from tassels and used in food production. We developed a quantitative genetic model that allows us to predict the level of tassel pigmentation in a cross from the characteristics of the parents. While many traits are controlled by complex genetics genetic mechanisms such as interaction of multiple genes that make the outcome of crosses difficult to predict, a simple model is sufficient to predict the tassel pigmentation of a cross. This will allow breeders to make effective crosses with much less cost and effort and will result in more rapid improvement of corn varieties with regard to tassel pigmentation. This will benefit the consumer by reducing the cost of production of pigments derived from corn tassels.

Technical Abstract: The information on gene effects governing the inheritance of traits is important for crop breeding and germplasm management. In small ear waxy corn, after pollination tassel has no role and it is a potential feedstock for anthocyanin extraction. The objective of this study was to estimate genetic effects for anthocyanin content (TAC) in the tassel of small-ear waxy corn. Six generations (P1, P2, F1, F2, BC11 and BC12) were developed from two crosses of waxy corn (TB1×TW1 and TC1×TB3). TB1 and TB3 had purple tassels, and TW1 and TC1 had green tassels. All generations of each cross were evaluated under field conditions in the rainy season of 2017 and the dry season of 2017/2018. Season (S), generation (G) and their (S×G) interaction were significant effects (P=0.01) for both crosses. Season had moderate effect, accounting for 22.1 and 38.6% of the total variance in the crosses TB1×TW1 and TC1×TB3, respectively. Generation had the largest effect, accounting for 64.4 and 46.1% for the crosses of TB1×TW1 and TC1×TB3, respectively. S×G interaction had small effect, contributing 12.6 and 14.7% of the total variance for the crosses of TB1×TW1 and TC1×TB3, respectively. A three-parameter model was adequate to estimate genetic effects. Additive gene effects were significant for controlling the inheritance of total anthocyanin concentration in tassels in both crosses. The significant additive effect suggested that selection for anthocyanin content in the early generation will be effective and hybrid combinations obtained from superior parental lines with unrelated genetic backgrounds may be an effective option to increase anthocyanin concentration in the tassel of small-ear waxy corn.