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In situ analyses of inorganic nutrient distribution in sweetcorn and maize kernels using synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence microscopy

Cheah, Z. X., Kopittke, P. M., Harper, S. M., O'Hare, T. J., Wang, P., Paterson, D. J., de Jonge, M. D. and Bell, M. J. (2018) In situ analyses of inorganic nutrient distribution in sweetcorn and maize kernels using synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence microscopy. Annals of Botany . ISSN 0305-7364

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Article Link(s): https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcy189

Abstract

Background and Aims: Understanding the spatial distribution of inorganic nutrients within edible parts of plant products helps biofortification efforts to identify and focus on specific uptake pathways and storage mechanisms. Methods: Kernels of sweetcorn (Zea mays) variety 'High zeaxanthin 103146' and maize inbred line 'Thai Floury 2' were harvested at two different maturity stages, and the distributions of K, P, S, Ca, Zn, Fe and Mn were examined in situ using synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence microscopy. Key Results: The distribution of inorganic nutrients was largely similar between maize and sweetcorn, but differed markedly depending upon the maturity stage after further embryonic development. The micronutrients Zn, Fe and Mn accumulated primarily in the scutellum of the embryo during early kernel development, while trace amounts of these were found in the aleurone layer at the mature stage. Although P accumulated in the scutellum, there was no direct relationship between the concentrations of P and those of the micronutrients, compared with the linear trend between Zn and Fe concentrations. Conclusions: This study highlights the important role of the embryo as a micronutrient reserve for sweetcorn and maize kernels, and the need to understand how biofortification efforts can further increase the inorganic nutrient concentration of the embryo for human consumption.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Subjects:Science > Botany > Genetics
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural chemistry. Agricultural chemicals
Plant culture > Food crops
Plant culture > Field crops > Corn. Maize
Deposited On:12 Feb 2019 02:52
Last Modified:12 Feb 2019 02:52

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