African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6858

Full Length Research Paper

Phenotypic characterization and beta-carotene quantification towards selection for high beta-carotene maize accessions

Gilbert ANSAH
  • Gilbert ANSAH
  • Department of Nuclear Agriculture and Radiation Processing, School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana.
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Samuel AMITEYE
  • Samuel AMITEYE
  • Department of Nuclear Agriculture and Radiation Processing, School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana.
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Harry Mensah AMOATEY
  • Harry Mensah AMOATEY
  • Department of Nuclear Agriculture and Radiation Processing, School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana.
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Vivian ODURO
  • Vivian ODURO
  • Department of Nuclear Agriculture and Radiation Processing, School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana.
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Maxwell ABIVE-BORTSI
  • Maxwell ABIVE-BORTSI
  • Biotechnology Centre, Biotechnology and Nuclear Agricultural research Institute (BNARI), Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), P. O. Box AE 50, Accra, Ghana.
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Jacob Teye KUTUFAM
  • Jacob Teye KUTUFAM
  • Biotechnology Centre, Biotechnology and Nuclear Agricultural research Institute (BNARI), Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), P. O. Box AE 50, Accra, Ghana.
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Doris Akua DZIMEGA
  • Doris Akua DZIMEGA
  • Biotechnology Centre, Biotechnology and Nuclear Agricultural research Institute (BNARI), Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), P. O. Box AE 50, Accra, Ghana.
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Jonathan Okai ARMAH
  • Jonathan Okai ARMAH
  • Biotechnology Centre, Biotechnology and Nuclear Agricultural research Institute (BNARI), Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), P. O. Box AE 50, Accra, Ghana.
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Innocent Kwaku DORVLO
  • Innocent Kwaku DORVLO
  • Department of Nuclear Agriculture and Radiation Processing, School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana.
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Godwin AMENORPE
  • Godwin AMENORPE
  • Department of Nuclear Agriculture and Radiation Processing, School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana.
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  •  Received: 26 August 2022
  •  Accepted: 21 December 2022
  •  Published: 30 June 2023

Abstract

Yellow maize varieties in Ghana have low beta-carotene levels, but if improved, they could lessen the negative health effects of vitamin-A deficiency. Finding promising yellow maize accessions that could be used to breed higher beta-carotene varieties was the goal of the study. The study involved the collection of 100 local accessions, phenotypic identification, evaluation of genetic relatedness, and quantification of the beta-carotene and total carotenoid contents. The focus of the work was general trait analysis of the maize collections including existing local pro Vitamin A accessions from National Research Stations. A factor score for 15 traits revealed that the main drivers of variation in the first component axis were 100 seed weight, cob weight, and number of kernels per row, whereas the main contributors to variation in the second component axis were cob height, plant height, and leaf length. The third component axis was dominated by 50% anthesis, 50% silking and 50% leaf senescence. The three component axis accounted for 54.19% of the observed variation. Variability was also observed in kernel beta-carotene and total carotenoid contents. It is possible to develop higher beta-carotene varieties from the accessions NZER1 and HONAMPA, which have the highest beta-carotene contents (5.19 and 4.34 μg/g, respectively) and fall within the recommended range (3 to 8 μg/g) for first-generation medium to high pro-vitamin-A maize genotypes.

Key words: Beta-carotene, plant breeding, carotenoid, phenotype, maize, pro-Vitamin A, traits, germplasm.