Quantitative genetic analysis of hydroxycinnamic acids in maize (Zea mays L.) for plant improvement and production of health-promoting compounds

Carolyn J. Butts-Wilmsmeyer, Rita H. Mumm, Martin O. Bohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Hydroxycinnamic acids, including ferulic acid and p-coumaric acid, have been tied to multiple positive health and agronomic benefits. However, little work has been done to improve the concentration of hydroxycinnamic acids in maize. We evaluated a set of 12 commercially important maize (Zea mays L.) inbred lines and 66 hybrids derived from their crosses for hydroxycinnamic acid concentration in the grain, grain yield, and test weight. The grain was obtained from replicated field experiments, which were conducted for 3 years. Both ferulic acid and p-coumaric acid were found to be highly heritable, and most of the genetic variation was additive. Grain yield and test weight were not correlated with hydroxycinnamic acid concentration. These findings suggest that breeding maize for improved hydroxycinnamic acid concentration is feasible. Maize hybrids with high hydroxycinnamic acid concentrations in the grain could be useful for the production of dietary supplements or all-natural food additives while imparting enhanced resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses during the growing season and grain storage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9585-9593
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Volume68
Issue number35
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2 2020

Keywords

  • correlation analysis
  • food additives and human health-promoting compounds
  • heritability
  • hydroxycinnamic acids
  • maize breeding
  • phenolic acids
  • quantitative genetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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