Mexican Maize Landraces for Corn on the Cob Production at the Central Highlands


Consumption of corn on the cob (Zea mays L.) in Mexico is based on commercial hybrids, even though there are
several native races selected by farmers for this purpose. The aim of this study was to characterize immature ears
from genetic material derived from three maize landraces adapted to the Mexican central highlands. We evaluated
28 accessions belonging to landraces Cacahuacintle, Chalqueño and Elotes Cónicos in Montecillo, Estado de
México under a complete randomized blocks design with two replications for two consecutive cycles. Quality was
measured through total soluble solid content, protein content and a sensory analysis, along with morphological
traits and yield. We found native genotypes with superior quality than that of the commercial control. An analysis
of variance and comparison of means by Tukey’s test, as well as a principal component analysis were applied. Native
maize showed soluble solid contents of 13.6º Brix, protein content of 12.4 % and better tasting of immature
ears than that of the commercial control. Also, the landraces produced ear length of up to 18.5 cm, diameter of
up to 5.3 cm, average of 17 grain rows and 90.8 % of grain fill length, which were similar to the control. The yield
of landraces reached up to 12 t ha-1 of fresh unhusked ears and 6.3 t ha-1 of fresh kernels. Ear length and diameter
can be used as selection criteria for improvement of yield and morphologic traits, and soluble solid content for
improvement of tender corn quality. Variability in native maize could satisfy the consumption preferences of corn
on the cob and fresh kernel consumption of the population centers of the central part of Mexico.


Zea mays, tender maize, degrees Brix, sensory analysis

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Maydica - A journal devoted to maize and allied species

ISSN: 2279-8013