A. SharmaICAR-Directorate of Rapeseed Mustard Research, Bharatpur, Rajsthan-321303. India Crop Improvement Division, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Vivekananda Parvatiya Krishi Anusandhan Sansthan (VPKAS), Almora 263601, Uttarakhand. India
The present paper reports that significant genetic variability was evident in Fe, Zn, β-carotene, and phytic acid (phytate, PA) contents in a set of 39 diverse maize genotypes collected from maize breeding programme of hill agriculture, India. The Fe, Zn, β-carotene, and PA concentrations were found to be in the range 19.31–50.64 mg kg−1, 12.60–37.18 mg kg−1, 0.17–8.27 µg g−1, and 6.59–7.13 g kg−1, respectively. The genotypes V335, V420, V393, V416, V414, V372, and V351 were identified to have higher concentration of β-carotene, Fe, and Zn but lower amount of PA. Possible availability of the minerals Fe and Zn was determined using molar ratio between PA as inhibitor and β-carotene as promoter for their absorption. The micronutrient molar ratio showed that Fe and Zn traits could be dependent of each other. Low R2 value revealed relation between β-carotene and kernel colour. The selected genotypes could be considered as potential sources of favourable genes for further breeding programs to develop micronutrient enriched maize cultivars.