Environment affects starch composition and kernel hardness in temperate maize

Roberto Dionisio Martínez, Alfredo Gabriel Cirilo, Aníbal Alejandro Cerrudo, Fernando Héctor Andrade, Natalia Gabriela Izquierdo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Protein percentage and kernel weight affect the endosperm hardness of maize grains. However, changes in starch composition could also modify kernel hardness, which is often predicted through milling ratio. The objective of this work was to evaluate the relationship between changes in starch composition and endosperm hardness, and to assess the effects of protein content and kernel weight on that relationship. For this, we used information obtained from three temperate hybrids in multi-environmental experiments, as well as experiments conducted under controlled conditions designed to modify starch composition. Milling ratio was determined as maize kernel hardness predictor in both experiments and it was correlated with grain weight and grain composition. RESULTS: In both experiments, milling ratio presented a significant Spearman correlation coefficient with amylose/starch ratio. Milling ratio was significantly related to the amylose/starch ratio using a simple fit with datasets from different experiments and hybrids. Increases in amylose/starch ratio were associated with increases in milling ratio. CONCLUSION: Starch composition was related to milling ratio variations among hybrids of different aptitude for dry milling through different environments, regardless of protein content. Thus, increases in the amylose/starch ratio were related to increases in the milling ratio.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5488-5494
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Issue number12
StatePublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Society of Chemical Industry.


  • amylose/starch ratio
  • flint maize
  • multi-environment experiments
  • protein content
  • thermal and source/sink ratio experiments


Dive into the research topics of 'Environment affects starch composition and kernel hardness in temperate maize'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this