Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #370860

Research Project: Genetic Optimization of Maize for Different Production Environments

Location: Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research

Title: Variability in anthocyanins, phenolic compounds and antioxidant capacity in the tassels of collected waxy corn germplasm

item DUANGPAPENG, PRAKASIT - Khon Kaen University
item LERTRAT, KAMOL - Khon Kaen University
item LOMTHAISONG, KHOMSORN - Khon Kaen University
item Scott, Marvin
item SURIHARN, BHALANG - Khon Kaen University

Submitted to: Agronomy
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/22/2019
Publication Date: 3/25/2019
Citation: Duangpapeng, P., Lertrat, K., Lomthaisong, K., Scott, M.P., Suriharn, B. 2019.Variability in anthocyanins, phenolic compounds and antioxidant capacity in the tassels of collected waxy corn germplasm. Agronomy. 9(3):158.

Interpretive Summary: One way to add value to crops is to find uses for the parts of the plant that are not normally used. For example, corn tassels are normally not harvested, but can be a good source of valuable phytochemicals for the food and health industries. One limitation to using corn tassels in this way is that we don't understand how different production environments impact the accumulation of phytochemicals in tassels. The goal of this study was to determine the effect of production environment on phytochemical production in tassels. We learned that the effect of production environment was important, but some varieties were stable across many environments, while some only did well in certain environments. This information will help corn producers manage production risk, making the use of tassels for phytochemical production more feasible. This will increase the value of the corn crop and provide an inexpensive source of phytochemicals for the food and health industries.

Technical Abstract: Corn tassels are a co-product of corn production that can be used as a feedstock for phytochemical production. The aims of this study were to evaluate the effects of corn tassel pigmentation and genotype on total anthocyanin content (TAC), total phenolic content (TPC) and antioxidant activity as determined by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity and Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) assays in corn tassel and to determine the phenotypic stability of these traits. Sixteen genotypes were evaluated at two locations, the Khon Kaen and Uthai Thani locations in Thailand, for two seasons in the dry season of 2015/2016 and the rainy season of 2016. The genotypes with purple or pink tassels had higher TAC, TPC and antioxidant activity than the genotypes with normal green tassels. Genotype was an important source of variation in all traits. Fancy111 had the highest and most stable TAC across growing environments. S6248 and Fancy111 had moderate TPC across growing environments and showing wide adaptability for this trait. KGW1 had intermediate antioxidant activity across growing environments. Most genotypes with high levels of the measured compounds were sensitive to the environment. We conclude that choosing the appropriate locations and seasons can make a big difference on production of high quality corn tassel as a co-product of grain corn and vegetable corn production. The information obtained in this study is valuable to producers wishing to select genotypes for production of phytochemicals corn tassels and for breeders wishing to develop improved varieties.