Articles

Utilizing Leafy genes as resources in quality silage maize breeding


Abstract


The primary goal of silage maize production is to obtain the greatest possible amount of digestible nutrients. Although it is not of the highest value in terms of starch, leaves provide ruminants with sufficient amount of green mass and facilitate nutrient uptake. The nutrient and fibre content of leaves at harvest affect the quality of silage. In cooperation with Glenn Seed Ltd, the Agricultural Research Institute of HAS had an opportunity to use an inbred line carrying the dominant allele Leafy1 (Lfy1). The number and surface area of leaves were measured in various hybrid combinations, and the hybrids and parents were compared morphologically. The combinations causing the highest heterosis were identified. Compared to lines without Lfy1 gene and hybrids in the same maturity group, these lines had an additional 3-4 leaves above the ear on average, resulting in an extra 30-40% leaf area. The hybrid Siloking (Lfy) produced 50% more leaves above the ear than the standard, leading to an extra 40% leaf area. The results demonstrate that the increased total leaf area of Lfy silage hybrids and the number of leaves above the ear, ensure that new leaves with high sugar content capable of photosynthesizing can develop until the end of grain filling. The increased leaf-mass produced by Lfy hybrids may be utilized, bearing in mind the relevant guidelines by the European Union, also as biogas raw material in sustainable energy management.

Keywords

silage maize; Leafy gene; leaf area; biogas; Zea mays L

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Maydica - A journal devoted to maize and allied species

ISSN: 2279-8013