Identifying quality protein maize inbred lines for improved nutritional value of maize in Southern Africa

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Amegbor, Isaac
Van Biljon, Angeline
Shargie, Nemera
Tarekegne, Amsal
Labuschagne, Maryke
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Malnutrition, as a result of deficiency in essential nutrients in cereal food products and consumption of a poorly balanced diet, is a major challenge facing millions of people in developing countries. However, developing maize inbred lines that are high yielding with enhanced nutritional traits for hybrid development remains a challenge. This study evaluated 40 inbred lines: 26 quality protein maize (QPM) lines, nine non-QPM lines, and five checks (three QPM lines and two non-QPM lines) in four optimum environments in Zimbabwe and South Africa. The objective of the study was to identify good-quality QPM inbred lines for future hybrid breeding efforts in order to increase the nutritional value of maize. The QPM lines had a lower protein content (7% lower) than that of the non-QPM lines but had 1.9 times more tryptophan and double the quality index. The lysine- and tryptophan-poor  y-zein protein fraction was 41% lower in QPM than in non-QPM, with a subsequent increase in y-zein. There was significant variation within the QPM inbred lines for all measured quality characteristics, indicating that the best lines can be selected from this material without a yield penalty. QPM lines that had both high protein and tryptophan levels, which can be used as parents for highly nutritious hybrids, were identified.
Maize inbred lines, Nutritional value, Protein quality
Amegbor, I., Van Biljon, A., Shargie, N., Tarekegne, A., & Labuschagne, M. (2022). Identifying Quality Protein Maize Inbred Lines for Improved Nutritional Value of Maize in Southern Africa. Foods, 11, 898. foods11070898