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Bernardo Ordás, Rosa A. Malvar, Amando Ordás, and Pedro Revilla

Sugary and sugary enhancer hybrids are two of the most common types of sweet corn cultivated in temperate areas, whereas sugary × sugary enhancer hybrids, produced by crossing a sugary line with a sugary enhancer line, are also relatively common

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Don R. La Bonte and John A. Juvik

A single-kernel, sugar analysis technique was used to study the genetic relationship between morphological and metabolic traits previously associated with expression of the sugary enhancer (se) endosperm mutation in a su-1 sweet corn (Zea mays L.) background. Analysis of sucrose and total carotene content in su-1 kernel populations segregating for se showed that light-yellow kernel color was a reliable phenotypic indicator for kernels homozygous for the se gene. High levels of kernel maltose was not always indicative of su-1 se kernels in mature (55 days after pollination) kernel populations. Characteristic high levels of percent moisture in su-1 se kernels at 28 and 35 days post-pollination were identified as an expression of high sugar content. Kernels homozygous for su-1 se were also found to weigh less at maturity than su-1 Se kernels, and se was found to be partially expressed in a heterozygous condition.

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Anne C. Kurilich, Shyh-Shyan Wang, and John A. Juvik

Inbreds IL451b sugary1 (su1) and IL678a su1 isogenic for the sugary enhancer1 (se1) gene mutation were used to analyze the relationship between se1 gene dosage and endosperm sugar content. Each line was self-pollinated and reciprocal crosses were made between the isolines of each genotype to produce se1 gene dosages of 0, 1, 2, and 3 in the triploid endosperm. Ears were harvested at 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, and 45 days after pollination (DAP). Whole kernels were freeze-dried, ground into powder, and stored at –80°C until subsequent chemical analyses. Sucrose, glucose and fructose were analyzed using high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), the results of which indicated a significant increase in kernel sugar content when the se1 allele is homozygous.
\batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \[\begin{array}{lcl}&\underline{\mathrm{Sucrose\ content\ at}{\ }21{\ }\mathrm{DAP}(\%{\ }\mathrm{dry}{\ }\mathrm{wt})}&\\\underline{se1{\ }\mathrm{dose}}&\underline{\mathrm{IL}{\ }451\mathrm{b}}&\underline{\mathrm{IL}{\ }678\mathrm{a}}\\0&9.6&10.3\\1&8.0&10.7\\2&11.3&10.9\\3&15.8&12.2\end{array}\] \end{document}

Sucrose content at 21 DAP (typical maturity for harvesting) was observed to increase in the IL451b and IL678a backgrounds from zero to three doses of se1 by 65% and 18% respectively, indicating that this mutation varies in its expression in different genetic backgrounds. Associations between kernel phytoglycogen and starch content and se1 gene dosage are presented. The biochemical lesion associated with the se1 gene product is discussed.

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Bernardo Ordás, Pedro Revilla, Pilar Soengas, Amando Ordás, and Rosa A. Malvar

The better emergence and seedling vigor of sweet corn (Zea mays L.) hybrids homozygous for the gene sugary1 (su1) make them more suitable for cultivation under European Atlantic conditions (cold, wet spring) than those homozygous for other traits. Elite sweet corn inbreds homozygous for both su1 and sugary enhancer1 (se1) could improve the table quality of su1 hybrids. The su1se1 inbreds for improving su1su1 hybrid performance can be chosen in several ways. The aim of this paper was to identify donors among su1se1 inbreds that might improve the quality of su1 hybrids. Eight su1se1 inbreds were crossed with eight su1 inbreds that were parents of fifteen su1 hybrids. Hybrids and inbreds were cultivated next to one another in two locations in northwestern Spain in 1999 and 2000. Several possible estimators for identifying su1se1 inbred donors with favorable alleles lacking in the su1 hybrid were determined. These estimators included the relative number of favorable alleles present in the donor but absent in the hybrid (μǴ), predicted three-way cross (PTC), minimum upper bound (UBND), net improvement (NI), probability of the net gain of favorable alleles when there is complete dominance (PNGg), probability of the net gain of favorable alleles when there is partial dominance or epistasis (PNGceg), and general combining ability (GCA). μǴ and NI were chosen for improving hybrid table quality. These estimators indicate that table quality and other traits of su1 hybrids can be improved by using germplasm from the su1se1 inbred lines. The best donor of quality for most of the hybrids was the inbred line IL731a.

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John A. Juvik, M.A. Rouf Mian, and Andrea J. Faber

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John A. Juvik, Gad G. Yousef, Tae-Ho Han, Yaacov Tadmor, Fermin Azanza, William F. Tracy, Avri Barzur, and Torbert R. Rocheford

This study was conducted to identify the chromosomal location and magnitude of effect of quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling sweet corn (Zea mays L.) stand establishment and investigate the impact of dry kernel characteristics on seedling emergence under field conditions. Genetic and chemical analysis was performed on two F2:3 populations (one homozygous for su1 and segregating for se1, the other homozygous for sh2 endosperm carbohydrate mutations) derived from crosses between parental inbreds that differed in field emergence and kernel chemical composition. A series of restriction fragment-length polymorphism (RFLP) and phenotypic markers distributed throughout the sweet corn genome were used to construct a genetic linkage map for each population. F2:3 families from the two populations were evaluated for seedling emergence and growth rate at four locations. Mature dry kernels of each family were assayed for kernel chemical and physiological parameters. Composite interval analysis revealed significant QTL associations with emergence and kernel chemical and physiological variables. Improved emergence was positively correlated with lower seed leachate conductivity, greater embryo dry weight, and higher kernel starch content. QTL affecting both field emergence and kernel characteristics were detected in both populations. In the su1 se1 population genomic regions significantly influencing emergence across all four environments were found associated with the se1 gene on chromosome 2 and the RFLP loci php200020 on chromosome 7 and umc160 on chromosome 8. In the sh2 population the RFLP loci umc131 on chromosome 2 and bnl9.08 on chromosome 8 were linked to QTL significantly affecting emergence. Since seedling emergence and kernel sugar content have been shown to be negatively correlated, undesirable effects on sweet corn eating quality associated with each emergence QTL is discussed. Segregating QTL linked to RFLP loci in these populations that exert significant effects on the studied traits are candidates for molecular marker-assisted selection to improve sweet corn seed quality.

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Teri A. Hale, Richard L. Hassell, Tyron Phillips, and Elizabeth Halpin

Increased value of fresh sweet corn (Zea mays) during the last decade has lead to increased interest into the characteristics that increase marketability. Sweetness was examined over three phenotypes (su, se, and sh2) to determine if there was an optimum phenotype or cultivar within a phenotype. Each phenotype was isolated to prevent cross-pollinization. Cultivars were grown on sandy loam soil located at the Clemson University Coastal Research and Education Center (Charleston, S.C.). Early, mature, and late harvest dates were also evaluated to determine the optimal harvest date(s) for maximum flavor. High performance liquid chromatography was used to determine sucrose, fructose, glucose, and total sugars. Panelists' evaluation of sweetness and its acceptability significantly correlated with the high performance liquid chromatography analysis for sucrose and total sugars (sweetness, R = 0.70 and 0.61; acceptability, R = 0.64 and 0.55). Sucrose correlated with the total sugars (R = 0.95). As maturity increased, the ability of the taste panel to identify differences in phenotypes also increased. Although sucrose and total sugar levels were different between se, sh2, and su, taste panelists indicated no difference between se and sh2. Sh2 cultivars were considered sweet and acceptable on all harvest dates, but su was only acceptable to panelists at early maturity.

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Teri A. Hale, Richard L. Hassell, and Tyron Phillips

The refractometer has been proposed as a rapid, inexpensive technique for determining sugar levels in fresh sweet corn (Zea mays). High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis of sugars in three phenotypes (su, se, and sh2) of sweet corn harvested at three maturities indicated that sucrose content was highly correlated with the total sugars (R = 0.95). Sucrose and total sugar concentration were significantly different among all phenotypes. Soluble solids concentration (SSC) was high in su and se compared to the lower SSC of sh2. Early, mature, and late harvested samples differed in sucrose and total sugar content. Sugar concentration varied within phenotypes at each maturity level. Sh2 indicated no difference in sucrose and total sugars at early and mature harvests, but increased at late harvest. In contrast, sucrose and total sugar content decreased between early and mature harvests, then increased to highest levels at late harvest in se and su phenotypes. Overall, phenotype SSC increased significantly from early to late harvests, probably due to increased water-soluble polysaccharides in the su and se cultivars. Unlike other crops, a negative relationship was found in sweet corn between SSC and sucrose or total sugars, with an overall correlation of –0.51. This relationship was most affected by maturity, especially mature and late harvested sweet corn. Among phenotypes, sucrose, total sugar, and SSC were poorly correlated. Our results indicate that a refractometer should not be used to estimate total sugars or sucrose of sweet corn.

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Jerald K. Pataky, Martin M. Williams II, Dean E. Riechers, and Michael D. Meyer

those grown for processing and fresh market as well as white, yellow, or bicolored sweet corn with sugary, sugary enhancer, or shrunken-2 endosperm types. Thirty-seven proprietary sweet corn inbreds from nine commercial breeding programs were selected by

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Nancy W. Callan, James B. Miller, and Don E. Mathre

Shrunken-2 supersweet (sh2) sweet corn is susceptible to preemergence damping-off caused by Pythium ultimum, especially when planted into cold soil. Bio-priming, a seed treatment which combines the establishment of a bioprotectant on the seed with preplant seed hydration, was developed to protect seeds from damping-off.

In a series of field experiments conducted in Montana's Bitterroot and Gallatin Valleys, bio-priming or seed bacterization with Pseudomonas fluorescens AB254 protected sweet corn from P. ultimum damping-off. Bio-priming corn seed with P. fluorescens AB254 was comparable to treatment with the fungicide metalaxyl in increasing seedling emergence. Seedlings from bio-primed seeds emerged from the soil more rapidly than from nontreated seeds and were larger at three weeks postplanting. Seeds of sh 2 and sugary enhancer (se) sweet corn, as well as that of several sh 2 cultivars, were protected from damping-off by bio-priming.