Agro-nutritional variations of quality protein maize (Zea mays L.) in Nigeria

Department of Biological Sciences, Fountain University, Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria (1)
Depatment of Botanyand Microbiology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria (2)
Department of Agronomy, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria (3)
Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria (4)
Department of Crop Science, Landmark University, Omuaran, Kwara State, Nigeria (5)
Department of Pure and Applied Biology, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria (6)
Department of Agronomy, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State, Nigeria (7)

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Quality protein maize (QPM) combining the enhanced levels of lysine and tryptophan with high grain yield and desirable agronomic traits could reduce food insecurity and malnutritionin West and Central Africa.Twenty-two varieties of QPM and two local checks were evaluated for agronomic characteristics and nutritional qualities in the southern Guinea savanna of Nigeria for two years (2009 and 2010). Though crude protein levels are good indicators of quality, amino acid composition analyses, especially lysine and tryptophan that would provide a final proof are in progress. The genotypes comprised five open pollinated varieties (OPVs), nine inbred lines, eight hybrids and two local varieties. Differences among the varieties were significant (P<0.01) for grain yield, days to tasselling as well as plant and ear heights, while year x variety interaction was only significant (P<0.05) for days to tasselling. Most of the QPM inbred lines (CML 437, CML 490 CML 178) and hybrids (Dada-ba, ART98-SW5-OB, ART98-SW4-OB and TZPB-OB) have superior performance for grain yield, other yield attributes and nutritional qualities compared with the OPVs and local checks. These inbreds could be potential sources of favorable alleles useful for future maize breeding, while the hybrids could be evaluated in different environments of Nigeria for comparative advantages in different environments and quality of the grains to be released to farmers.

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