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Concentration of Beneficial Phytochemicals in Harvested Grain of U.S. Yellow Dent Maize (Zea mays L.) Germplasm

Butts-Wilmsmeyer, Carrie J., Mumm, Rita H., Bohn, Martin O.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2017 v.65 no.38 pp. 8311-8318
Zea mays, dent corn, fatty acids, genetic improvement, germplasm, hybrids, parents, phenolic acids, phytopharmaceuticals, protein content, tocopherols, United States
Although previous studies have examined the concentration of various nutritional compounds in maize, little focus has been devoted to the study of commercial maize hybrids or their inbred parents. In this study, a genetically and phenotypically diverse set of maize hybrids and inbreds relevant to U.S. commercial maize germplasm was evaluated for its variability in phytochemical content. Total protein, unsaturated fatty acids, tocopherols, soluble phenolics, and insoluble-bound phenolics were evaluated in this study. Of these compounds, only soluble and insoluble-bound phenolic acids exhibited means and variances that were at least as large as the means and variances reported for other sets of germplasm. This suggests that selection for high phenolic acid content is possible in current U.S. commercial germplasm. In contrast, while the total protein, unsaturated fatty acid, or tocopherol content could possibly be improved using current U.S. commercial germplasm, the results of this study indicate that the incorporation of more diverse sources of germplasm would most likely result in quicker genetic gains.