Maize (Zea mays L.) has a range of uses, from animal to human feed and can be consumed in nature, or as feedstock material in the preparation of starches, flours, canjicas, breads, beverages and porridges. This study aimed to determine the linear associations, estimates of genetic parameters and heterosis of bioactive and micronutrients compounds in maize. The experimental design was randomized blocks, the treatments consisted of six open pollinated varieties (OPVs) of maize: Dente de Ouro Roxo (P1), BRS Missões (P2), Caiano Rajado (P3), AL 25 (P4), Bico de Ouro (P5), Argentino Branco (P6) and five hybrids maize derived from crosses, P2 x P1, P3 x P1, P4 x P1, P5 x P1 e P6 x P1. Linear high and positive associations are expressed between the seed width and hundred kernel weight, between the antioxidants DPPH and ABTS radical, and through the manganese and zinc. The genetic parameters determine the progenies and the parent-average relationship are superior to the length, width and acidity of seeds, total phenols and copper. The heritability in a wide sense expressed is greater for the traits: acidity seeds, antioxidant DPPH radical and copper. The heritability in a restricted sense is superior to the traits length, width and acidity of seeds, carotenoids and sodium content. The traits thickness and color of seeds, total phenols, antioxidant ABTS radical and zinc are increased through the effects of intervarietal heterosis in maize. Estimates of genetic parameters obtained can be used in genetic maize breeding programs, in order to obtain biofortified genotypes using bioactive compounds and micronutrients.
Key words: Zea mays L., enriched cereals nutritionally, genetic variability, plant breeding.
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