Maternal genetic inheritance of red pericarp in the grain of maize


The diversity of colors in the grain of corn is wide, from whites to blacks and including a continuum of various shades of yellows, pinks, reds, purples and blues. The most abundant commercial colors are yellow and white, however other colors have become more important because of the presence of pigments to which are attributed favorable effects as a food. The pigments are also considered natural barriers of the grain against the invasion of pests and diseases in the production fields. The colors of the grain of corn occur in three different parts of the seed: the cover of the grain or pericarp, derived from the maternal tissue, with a diploid genetic content; the endo-sperm, including the aleurone layers that are cells in the grain immediately below the pericarp with a chromosome content of 3n; and the embryo, with a genetic content of 2n. The red color considered in this study is present in the pericarp ignoring possible effects in other tissues of grain and other organs of the plant. In this study, we used materials with colorless or red pericarp, and white or yellow endosperm; with the purpose of describing the type of inheritance of this character in the grain of corn. The results indicated a maternal genetic inheritance with classical complete dominance of the red color of pericarp over the clear or transparent phenotype, where the red color of the grains on ear is determined by the genotype of the mother grain but not by the seed embryo genotypes, which is characterized by uniformity of grain color of the ear. This type of inheritance could be useful in the development of pigmented varieties of higher food quality for humans.


pigments, human health, non segregation, ear color

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Maydica - A journal devoted to maize and allied species

ISSN: 2279-8013