Academia Sinica

Origin of Chinese waxy maize (Zea mays sinensis)
--Mengqian Zeng and Yannan Liu

In this paper, we state the research results on the morphology, physiology-biochemistry, genetics and origin time of Chinese waxy maize (Zea mays sinensis). The main results of the research are summarized as follows:

(1) Chinese waxy maize showed many characters of wild maize. For example, the ear was smaller, there were smaller grains covered partly by the bracts of the spikelet, rachises of the tassel were on the top of the ear, the number of ear rows was less, and each plant possessed many ears and tillers.

(2) The compositions of grain protein and amino acids of Chinese waxy maize were between normal and high lysine maize. The genetic resource of high lysine maize was screened in Chinese waxy maize.

(3) The fifth band of peroxidase isozymes was a marked band of Chinese waxy maize from South China; on the other hand, the fourth band was a marked band of dent maize (including waxy dent) from America. The fourth and fifth band of the peroxidase isozymes were genetically controlled by a locus with codominant alleles. The fourth and fifth band were a pair specific to the green tissues.

(4) According to these observations, it was reasonably believed that Chinese waxy maize actually originated from the tropical and sub-tropical regions of Xishuangbannan of China.

(5) We bred waxy maize hybrids with higher grain yield and high resistance to maize disease. For instance, SASC No. 1 (Science Academy Single cross No. 1) was crossed by excellent waxy maize lines (Shanghai wx and Yinou303 wx). The hybrid has a grain yield of 6750 kg/ha in general and the maximum grain yield will reach more than 8500 kg/ha. 

Please Note: Notes submitted to the Maize Genetics Cooperation Newsletter may be cited only with consent of the authors

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