Correlation analysis among kernel physical and quality characters
in quality protein maize (QPM)
Five self-lines (QI205, QI208, ZhongXI042, Across 7741 and Population 69) and 3x2 crosses of QPM were used as experimental materials. The experiments were carried out to analyze correlation among kernel physical characters and quality characters in QPM.
The kernel quality characters included were lysine and protein contents of whole kernels. The lysine content was analyzed by an automatic and high speed amino acid analyzer (Model 835-50, Hitachi Ltd., Japan). The protein content was determined by the Micro-Kjeldahl method. The kernel physical characters included were endosperm hardness, grain density, 1000-kernel weight, and grain yield/plant. The endosperm hardness was divided into five classes (0, 1, 2, 3, 4) based on proportion of hard versus soft endosperm, in which 4 represents very hard and 0 represents very soft, floury kernel. The grain density was determined using the ratio between 100-kernel weight and 100-kernel volume. 1000-kernel weight was determined with weight of 1000 whole, cleaned kernels at 13.5% moisture. Grain yield was measured by grain weight on a plant basis and adjusted to 13.5% moisture.
The main results of the experiment were as follows:
(1) There were positive correlations of endosperm hardness, grain density,
1000-kernel weight with grain yield/plant, R=0.853**, 0.804**, 0.976**,
(2) Lysine and protein contents of whole kernels have negative correlations with grain yield/plant, R=-0.845**, -0.736**, respectively.
(3) Lysine content of whole kernel had a negative correlation with endosperm hardness, grain density and 1000-kernel weight, R=-0.854**, -0.813**, -0.674**, respectively
(4) Protein content of whole kernel had a negative correlation with endosperm hardness, grain density and 1000-kernel weight, but correlation coefficients were not significant, R=-0.125, -0.142, -0.163, respectively.
(5) Endosperm hardness had a positive correlation with grain density and 1000-kernel weight, R=0.882**, 0.925**, respectively.
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