African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6401

Full Length Research Paper

Effect of kernel type on hardness and interrelationship with endosperm chemical components of Malawian local maize (Zea mays L.) varieties during storage

Ephantus Nguma
  • Ephantus Nguma
  • Department of Life and Food Sciences, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Inada-cho, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555, Japan.
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Daiki Murayama
  • Daiki Murayama
  • Department of Food Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Babcock Hall, 1605 Linden Dr, Madison, WI 53706, United States.
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Chandiona Munthali
  • Chandiona Munthali
  • Department of Agro-Environmental Science, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Inada-cho, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555, Japan.
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Kazumitsu Onishi
  • Kazumitsu Onishi
  • Department of Agro-Environmental Science, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Inada-cho, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555, Japan.
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Masahiko Mori
  • Masahiko Mori
  • Research Center for Global Agromedicine (GAMRC), Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Inada-cho, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555, Japan.
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Masayuki Tani
  • Masayuki Tani
  • Research Center for Global Agromedicine (GAMRC), Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Inada-cho, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555, Japan.
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Jiwan P. Palta
  • Jiwan P. Palta
  • Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 490 Moore Hall-Plant Sciences, 1575 Linden Dr, Madison, WI 53706, United States.
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Hiroshi Koaze
  • Hiroshi Koaze
  • Research Center for Global Agromedicine (GAMRC), Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Inada-cho, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555, Japan.
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Daigo Aiuchi
  • Daigo Aiuchi
  • Research Center for Global Agromedicine (GAMRC), Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Inada-cho, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555, Japan.
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  •  Received: 16 June 2020
  •  Accepted: 01 September 2020
  •  Published: 31 October 2020

Abstract

The aim of this study was to establish the attributes of kernel type based on kernel hardness and its interrelationship with maize endosperm chemical components, which are essential during storage. Three local varieties and one hybrid variety commonly grown by smallholder farmers in central Malawi were used. For storage experiment, the maize samples were infested with Prostephanus truncatus, larger grain borer (LGB) for eight weeks. Due to the high propensity of maize to cross-pollinate, the kernels were classified into flint and dent kernels to establish the physicochemical properties of the kernel type and variety independently. Local variety (L-3) exhibited the lowest number and weight of damaged grains and the highest adult LGB cadavers. Local variety, L-1 and L-3 had significantly the highest proportion of flint kernels type. Moreover, flint kernels of local varieties showed significantly the highest hardness, and the highest content of protein, total zein, α-zein and zinc (p < 0.05). Furthermore, hardness was significantly and positively correlated with total zein and 14 kDa β-zein content (p < 0.05). Zein in the endosperm, particularly 19 and 22 kDa α-zein mainly contributed to distinct hardness of the local varieties hence may contribute to physical barrier of the kernels against storage pests.

Key words: Maize, local variety, kernel type, hardness, chemical properties, larger grain borer.