Discriminating post-silking environmental effects on starch composition in maize kernels

R. D. Martínez, A. G. Cirilo, A. A. Cerrudo, F. H. Andrade, N. G. Izquierdo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Maize (Zea mays L.) endosperms with high amylose proportion are harder and denser than endosperms with low amylose. Environmental conditions could affect amylose/starch ratio. The purpose of this work was to prove the effect of incident solar radiation, temperature, refertilization with nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) and source/sink ratio during grain filling on maize amylose/starch ratio. The associations among changes in amylose/starch ratio and other grain components were also analyzed. We evaluated shading treatments in two periods during grain filling period. Fertilization treatments were evaluated by adding extra N and S per hectare in V15. Heating treatments were evaluated by increasing surface grain temperature during the grain filling period. Source/sink ratio was modified via defoliation and plant thinning. Variations in source/sink ratio or refertilization with N and S did not produce significant changes in starch composition. Increases in minimum temperature during early effective grain filling were related to decreases in starch percentage and to increases in amylose/starch ratio. Thus, future maize starch quality studies need to focus on thermal conditions during grain filling and on the metabolic steps involved. According to these results, management practices that imply a modification in temperature during the grain filling period affect starch composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-156
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cereal Science
StatePublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA PNCYO 1127042 ), Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (UNMdP AGR 506/16 and AGR559/18 and ANPCyT ( PICT, 2016-0051 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Defoliation
  • Refertilization
  • Shading
  • Temperature
  • Thinning


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