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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mississippi State, Mississippi » Crop Science Research Laboratory » Corn Host Plant Resistance Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #382509

Research Project: Enhanced Resistance of Maize to Aspergillus flavus Infection, Aflatoxin Accumulation, and Insect Damage

Location: Corn Host Plant Resistance Research

Title: Genetic analysis of new maize hybrids for yield and resistance to aflatoxin accumulation

item OPPONG, ALLEN - Csir-Crops Research Institute
item DADZIE, ABU - University Of Ghana
item ASANTE, MAXWELL - Csir-Crops Research Institute
item PREMPEH, RUTH - Csir-Crops Research Institute
item ABROKWAH, LINDA - Csir-Crops Research Institute
item KUBI, ZIPPORAH - Csir-Crops Research Institute
item MARFO, ESTHER - Csir-Crops Research Institute
item ANNANG, ESTHER - Csir-Crops Research Institute
item Warburton, Marilyn

Submitted to: Maize Genetics Conference Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/8/2021
Publication Date: 9/15/2021
Citation: Oppong, A., Dadzie, A.M., Asante, M.D., Prempeh, R., Abrokwah, L.A., Kubi, Z.A., Marfo, E.A., Annang, E.A., Warburton, M.L. 2021. Genetic analysis of new maize hybrids for yield and resistance to aflatoxin accumulation. Maize Genetics Conference Abstracts. 13(10):15-30.

Interpretive Summary: Maize is Ghana’s top cereal staple, consumed by millions of Ghanaians daily. Maize yield in farmer’s fields is low compared to the global average, and aflatoxin contamination is common. Aflatoxins are produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus, and affect human health and impede export potential. Thus, developing high yielding maize hybrids with low aflatoxin levels will positively impact productivity, health, and economic potential for the Ghanaian populace.

Technical Abstract: Maize (Zea mays L.) is the most important cereal crop in sub-Saharan Africa which provides food for more than its 1.2 billion inhabitants. However, production is hampered by many factors including low yields and aflatoxin contamination. The toxin contaminates maize during pre-harvest as well as during storage. Grains with contamination levels above 20ppb are destroyed. Ghana lacks regulatory infrastructure for monitoring and detecting aflatoxin in grains prior to market, moreover most of the local maize varieties have been found to be susceptible to aflatoxin accumulation. Host resistance is envisaged as key approach in addressing the aflatoxin menace Sixteen aflatoxin resistant inbreds sourced from CHPRRU in Mississippi, USA CIMMYT, IITA, etc. were crossed as males to six local inbreds, two populations, in a North Carolina II design to generate 160 new hybrids and planted together with 9 checks using 13 x 13 lattice. The new hybrids were evaluated across six environments in two seasons. Five plants each per hybrid were inoculated with a local strain of Aspergillus flavus inoculum a week after 50% mid silking at a concentration of 9 x 107conidia/ml. Statistical analysis showed significant effect of environment and genotypes for all traits especially aflatoxin accumulation resistance and yield. The general combining ability effect of males for all traits were found significant (P<0.05) whereas that of the females were not significant for all traits. Inbreds with consistent significant negative GCA effect for aflatoxin reduction were identified (MP 715, TZI-8, MP 719) as well as hybrids which combined high yields with reduced aflatoxin levels below 20ppb. Furthermore, the underlying genetic control for aflatoxin accumulation resistance trait was contributed by both GCA and SCA effect. Heritability estimates were fairly moderate suggesting permissible transfer of traits during selection. This means that it is possible to produce high yielding aflatoxin resistant hybrids for consumers.