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Changes of starch composition by postflowering environmental conditions in kernels of maize hybrids with different endosperm hardness

Martínez, R.D., Cirilo, A.G., Cerrudo, A., Andrade, F.H., Reinoso, L., Valentinuz, O.R., Balbi, C.N., Izquierdo, N.G
European journal of agronomy 2017 v.86 pp. 71-77
crop production, filling period, hybrids, sowing date, feeds, amylose, hardness, industry, corn, environmental factors, growing season, endosperm, latitude, field experimentation, temperature
Starch composition of maize grains is of great importance when used in animal feed and many processing industries. Maize production involves hybrids with different kernel composition and hardness, sown at areas that range from subtropical to temperate cold climates. Therefore, it is relevant to understand how the environment influences starch composition. The objective of this work was to analyze the effect of location and sowing date on starch composition of maize grains. Field experiments were carried out at five locations across the argentinean maize-production area during two growing seasons. At each location, two sowing dates and three hybrids differing in endosperm hardness (i.e. semi-dent, a semi-flint and flint) were evaluated. Late sowing dates reduced amylose percentage and amylose/starch ratio. This last variable increased as latitude decreased. Minimum temperature during effective grain filling period explained those latitude and sowing date effects. This finding would be helpful to estimate starch composition of maize kernels to be expected in order to satisfy specific end uses.