Analysis of on farm conservation of sweet corn in a diversity microcenter of Zea mays L. in Southern Brazil


Corn has a great diversity of types and races, being cultivated all around the world. In Brazil, corn is one of the
main commodities, being produced practically by every rural family. In the Far West region of the Santa Catarina
state, Southern Brazil, corn has several purposes that vary according to the type of grain. In the case of sweet
corn, the grains are basically used for the family's own consumption. This study aimed at identifying the diversity
of sweet corn in the region and analyzing the diversity indicators and the factors associated with in situ on farm
conservation and genetic erosion. Therefore, a Diversity Diagnosis was performed through semi-structured interviews
with 31 maintainers of corn previously indicated as sweeter. Thirty-one varieties were identified, among
which twenty-one were classified as sweet corn of wrinkled kernels and ten as sweet corn of dent kernels. The varieties
have been conserved on average for 8.8 years, and the main reason for conservation was self consumption
of the grains as fresh corn. The main reasons for seed loss, according to the farmers, were the occurrence of
drought and the non-multiplication of seeds by the family. The diversity microcenter of Zea mays L. in Southern
Brazil hosts local sweet varieties of wrinkled and dent kernels under in situ on farm conservation, with agronomic,
adaptive and market potential for in natura or canned consumption. However, such diversity is at risk of genetic
erosion, and therefore strategies are presented to mitigate the impacts on this local germplasm.


landraces, genetic diversity, fresh corn, genetic erosion

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Maydica - A journal devoted to maize and allied species

ISSN: 2279-8013