Selection for Pro-Vitamin a Maize Varieties Using Molecular Markers

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Author(s) Manfred B. Ewool | Richard Akromah | Charles Kwoseh
Pages 296-308
Volume 5
Issue 7
Date July, 2016
Keywords Carotenoids, Maize, Provitamin A, Marker Assisted Selection, Favourable Alleles, Liquid Chromatography

Vitamin A deficiency is a serious global health problem that can be alleviated by improved nutrition. Development of cereal crops with increased pro-vitamin A (PVA) carotenoids can provide a sustainable solution to eliminating vitamin A deficiency worldwide. Developing a new, improved plant variety by means of phenotypic selection or conventional breeding can easily exceed 10 years. Therefore, the use of molecular marker selection (MAS) could hasten the process. MAS for a trait, is based on genotype using associated markers rather than the phenotype of the trait. Seed increases of 4 parents namely Honampa an orange open pollinated variety (OPV), ZM305 (orange inbred line) Aburohemaa (white OPV), Akposoe (white OPV) and their crosses were developed at Kwadaso in the forest zone of Ghana in the major and minor seasons of 2013. Running of polymerase chain reaction was carried out at Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana Kirkhouse Trust Mobile Laboratory and International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico and in addition carotenoid analysis at CIMMYT. Results indicated that ZM305 showed favourable alleles for CrtRB1-3'TE as well as some of the white maize samples. These results meant that MAS to track alleles for PVA content is possible. However, favourable alleles observed may not necessarily mean higher PVA content and as such, laboratory determination of the PVA contents may be necessary for confirmation.

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