P. M. Adunola, B. O. Akinyele, A. C. Odiyi, L. S. Fayeun and M. G. Akinwale
Biofortification of a natural snack like popcorn is important for improved nutrition and health of children and adults. This study was aimed at introgressing opaque-2 gene, a high lysine/tryptophan gene into the genetic background of popcorn. Field experiments were carried out at the Teaching and Research Farm (TRF) of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) during the dry and wet seasons of 2016 while biochemical and molecular analyses were carried out in the Biochemistry Laboratory, FUTA and Bioscience Laboratory, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) respectively. Nine parental genotypes were used which comprised three popcorn maize varieties and six Quality Protein Maize (QPM) varieties. F1 hybrids were developed by crossing the parental genotypes using North Carolina mating design I. The hybrids were then advanced to F2 by self-pollination. Segregated F2 kernels from each genotype were screened on the light box. Kernel modifications 2 (25% opaque) and 3 (50% opaque) were selected. Selected kernels were analysed biochemically for protein and tryptophan contents. Data obtained were subjected to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) using Minitab software version 17. Significant means were separated using Tukeys HSD (P ≤ 0.05). The allelic state of opaque-2 gene in the selected F2s was determined using SSR marker phi 112. Protein and tryptophan contents and quality index for unpopped and popped F2 of crosses of QPM and popcorn were significantly (P ≤ 0.05) higher than popcorn checks. Unpopped protein content, unpopped tryptophan content and popped tryptophan content were highly correlated with one another. Phi 112 SSR marker showed dominant pattern of polymorphism, amplifying DNA fragments between 154bp and 160bp for the F2.
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