Researchers from Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences in China investigated the genetic architecture of vitamin E content in sweet corn kernels by conducting a genome-wide association study. Their findings are published in the April 2020 issue of The Crop Journal.
Tocopherols and tocotrienols, which are collectively known as vitamin E, works as lipid-soluble antioxidant in sweet corn kernels that give nutrients to plants and humans. Finding out the genetic architecture of vitamin E will aid in the nutritional improvement of sweet corn. Thus, the research team constructed an association panel of 204 inbred sweet corn lines. They measured seven compounds of vitamin E 28 days after pollination. Through genotyping by sequencing, they identified 119 loci for vitamin E, coming up with a genetic network of vitamin E. The candidate genes identified function mostly in RNA regualtion and protein metabolism. Through marker-assisted selection, two elite cultivars with a significant increase in Î?- and Î?-tocopherols were developed, indicating successful biofortification of sweet corn.