Breeding for grain quality traits

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2005-01-01
Authors
Pollak, L. M.
Scott, M. P.
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Scott, M. Paul
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Agronomy

The Department of Agronomy seeks to teach the study of the farm-field, its crops, and its science and management. It originally consisted of three sub-departments to do this: Soils, Farm-Crops, and Agricultural Engineering (which became its own department in 1907). Today, the department teaches crop sciences and breeding, soil sciences, meteorology, agroecology, and biotechnology.

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The Department of Agronomy was formed in 1902. From 1917 to 1935 it was known as the Department of Farm Crops and Soils.

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1902–present

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  • Department of Farm Crops and Soils (1917–1935)

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Abstract

Plant breeders have been extremely successful at improving the yield of maize. Grain quality has received less attention; however important advances have been made by breeders in this area as well. Maize with a wide range of compositions and fractions within the major grain components has resulted from breeders taking advantage of advances in biochemistry and genetics over the last fifty years. Breeding for grain quality provides end users with grain better suited to their needs. Maize with improved amino acid balance allows animal feed to be produced at a lower cost. Maize with altered fatty acid composition allows production of healthier vegetable oil. Maize with altered starch properties allows improvement of many products that rely on starch based gels, films and adhesives. Although mutants that impact these traits have been widely used, quantitative genetic approaches have also been successful when applied in long-term breeding programs. Two successful approaches involve elements of both approaches, including the development of QPM based on the o2 mutant with selection for improved kernel types and the development of high amylose maize based on the ae mutation with selection for increased amylose.

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This article is published as Pollak, L. M., and M. P. Scott. "Breeding for grain quality traits." Maydica 50, no. 3/4 (2005): 247.

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