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Cereal Chem 72:632-636  |  VIEW ARTICLE

Maize Kernel Hardness Estimation in Breeding by Near Infrared Transmission Analysis.

J. L. Robutti. Copyright 1995 by the American Association of Cereal Chemists, Inc. 

Near-infrared transmission (NIT) spectra between 600 and 1,100 nm were recorded for whole maize kernels of genotypes including hybrids grown under experimental and commercial conditions, crosses between hybrids, populations of different races, and samples from storage facilities. Hardness was estimated from test weight, percent floaters, coarse/fine ratio, and near-infrared reflectance. Protein and oil contents were also determined, and spectra of hexane-soluble constituents were recorded from 600 to 1,100 nm. Two NIT measurements were highly correlated with hardness estimates. The first was absorbance at 860 nm (Abs): softer dent kernels absorbed more than did flintier (harder) kernels. The second was shift of a 620-680 nm absorbance peak (Shf): flintier hybrids had maximum peaks at lower wavelengths than did dent types. These NIT parameters were not related to protein, oil, or hexane soluble constituents. ANOVA showed that Abs and Shf were less sensitive to the block effect than actual hardness measurements. Thus, both NIT parameters may be useful for selection during breeding.

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