Phenotypic variation in grain mineral compositions of pigmented maize conserved in indigenous communities of Mexico


In recent decades, pigmented corn has aroused great interest due to its contributions of bioactive compounds
and nutritional elements for the improvement of health. To evaluate the mineral grain contents in a pigmented corn
collection from Oaxaca, Mexico, 57 accessions from indigenous communities and three commercial varieties were
grown in two cultivation locations. A random grain sample was obtained from the crops, and the Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn, P,
Mg, K, Ca, Na, and S contents were quantified using an optical emission spectrophotometer with inductively coupled
plasma (ICP-OES). The cropping localities significantly influenced the mineral contents. Likewise, significant
differences were observed between accessions, groups of pigmented grains, and accession-locality interactions
except for zinc. The groups of pigmented grains interact with Cu, Fe, Ca, and Na in the environment. Among the
accessions, high variation was observed in all elements except for Zn. The results show that a breeding program
can be initiated for the outstanding blue, red, and yellow grain accessions.


Zea mays, optical emission spectroscopy, genotype-environment interaction, landraces

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