Indian Society of Genetics & Plant Breeding


Genetic variability for kernel β-carotene and utilization of crtRB1 3’TE gene for biofortification in maize (Zea mays L.)

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Carotenoids are the major sources of dietary precursor
of vitamin A and act as potential antioxidant besides
preventing diseases such as night blindness in humans.
Vitamin A deficiency is a global problem, but is particularly
prevalent in developing countries like India, where 31
percent of pre-school children are reportedly affected.
Evaluation of genetic variability for kernel β-carotene in
105 maize inbreds of diverse pedigree from India- and
CIMMYT- origin revealed significant variation ranging from
0.02 to 16.50 µg/g. One of the key reasons for wide variation
of kernel β-carotene is due to the allelic variation at crtRB1
3’TE gene. Five among 95 inbreds possessed the
favourable crtRB1 3’TE allele with a mean β-carotene
concentration of 0.86 µg/g. In contrast, the same allele
detected in 20 CIMMYT-Maize HarvestPlus genotypes
contributed a mean kernel β-carotene concentration of
11.29 µg/g. The contrast in β-carotene concentration in
Indian and CIMMYT genotypes could be attributed to the
presence of SNPs and InDels in crtRB1 3’TE locus, along
with the presence/absence of favourable alleles of other
important genes influencing the carotenoid biosynthetic
pathway. Marker-assisted breeding has been initiated, to
introgress the crtRB1 3’TE favourable allele using high β-
carotene CIMMYT inbreds as donors, to develop
provitamin A-rich maize cultivars suitable for maize
growing regions in India.

Keywords: Maize, β-carotene, carotenoid biosynthesis, genetic variability, biofortification


Year: 2012
Volume: 72
Issue: 2
Article DOI: N/A
Print ISSN: 0019-5200
Online ISSN: 0975-6906


Supradip Saha info_circle
P. K. Agrawal info_circle
S. K. Guleria info_circle
B. M. Prasanna info_circle
H. S. Gupta info_circle

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