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  • 1 Agricultural Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Martonvásár Hungary
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The chemical composition of maize makes it suitable for a wide range of nonconventional uses, including utilisation as a new source of energy for the 21st century as a raw material for biofuel. The aim of the experiments was to amalgamate the application of genetic markers with conventional breeding methods to produce maize hybrids whose starch content and ecostability satisfied the demands of industrial use, while having yield potential and agronomic traits on a par with those of hybrids currently cultivated. The chemical quality of 220 lines was evaluated using the NIR spectrometric technique, and the five maize inbred lines with the lowest and highest starch contents were selected for genetic marker studies. The variety identification of the lines was carried out using the isoenzymes stipulated by UPOV. The following SSR (simple sequences repeat) markers were tested: phi 095, umc 1057, nc 004, phi 096, nc 007, umc 1564, phi 85, y1 SSR, umc 1178, nc 009, phi 070, umc 1066, umc 1741, umc 1069, phi 033, phi 061, wx, phi 032, phi 084 and phi 062. The analysis of the fragment patterns revealed three SSR markers that appeared to be correlated with the starch content of the maize lines. These were the primer pairs y1 SSR, umc 1069 and phi 062 . These results are only of a preliminary nature, however, as the incorporation of starch is probably regulated by several genes, and the studies suggest it is also influenced by several environmental factors. It also appears likely that the bioethanol yield is determined not only by the starch content, but also by other parameters. Further research should thus be expanded to include investigations into the structural and fermentability traits of starch molecules, including the characterisation of these traits using genetic markers.

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