Vitamin A deficiency causes xerophthalmia in preschool-aged children worldwide. The objective of this study was to estimate the genetic parameters that would be useful in selecting parent plants for developing productive hybrids with higher levels of provitamin A in the maize kernel. A complete 7 × 7 diallel mating scheme was used to generate 21 single-cross hybrids. The F1 crosses and check hybrids were evaluated in complete block design across three different Brazilian environments, and carotenoid content was analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography. General combining ability effects were significant for all traits except a-carotene This result indicates that the contribution of the additive effect was more important for provitamin A and other carotenoids and, consequently that there is high chance of improving this trait through recurrent selection methods. Line 3 produced the highest level of kernel provitamin A among the inbred lines evaluated and also demonstrated the potential to contribute to the development of genetic materials with a good performance for provitamin A. Inbred lines 1, 6, and 7 showed a higher concentration of favorable alleles for grain yield, and inbred lines 3 and 6 exhibited a higher concentration of favorable alleles for ß-carotene. Hybrid 1 × 3 performed well in terms of provitamin A and grain yield and combination 2 × 3 was the best performer in terms of lutein content.
Dias Paes, M.C.; de Oliveira Guimarães, P.E.; Senete, C.T.; Souza, J.C. Diallel analysis of maize inbred lines for carotenoids and grain yield. Euphytica (2011) 182 (3) 395-404. [DOI: 10.1007/s10681-011-0513-z]