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Maize inbreds from different heterotic groups as favorable sources for increased potential bioavailability of magnesium, iron, manganese and zinc

Vesna Dragicevic1*, Snezana Mladenovic-Drinic1, Milovan Stojiljkovic2, Milomir Filipovic1, Bogdan Nikolic3, Vojka Babic1, and Natalija Kravic1

Biofortification is based on selection of genotypes with enhanced concentration of mineral elements in grain, as well as decreased concentration of substances which interfere bioavailability of mineral elements in gut (like phytic acid), and increased content of substances that increase availability (such as β-carotene). The experiment with 51 maize (Zea mays L.) inbred lines with different heterotic background was set up in order to evaluate chemical composition of grain and to determine the relations between phytic acid (PA), β-carotene, and mineral elements: Mg, Fe, Mn, and Zn. The highest average phytate, β-carotene, Fe, and Mn content was found in grain of inbreds from Lancaster heterotic group. The highest content of Mg was in grain of Independent source and Zn in grain of BSSS group. Increased level of Fe and Mn in Lancaster lines could be partially affected by higher PA content in grain, while increased β-carotene content could improve Mn and Zn availability from grain of BSSS genotypes and Mg availability from Lancaster inbreds. It is important to underline that PA reduction is followed by Zn content increase in grain of Lancaster heterotic group, as well as that variations in Mg, Fe, and Mn contents are independent on PA status in inbreds from Independent source, indicating that the genotypes with higher Mg, Fe and Mn status from this group could serve as favorable source for improved Mg, Fe, and Mn absorption.

Key words: Bioavailability, β-carotene, heterotic group, inbred line, mineral elements, phytic acid.

1Maize Research Institute Zemun Polje, Slobodana Bajića 1, 11185 Zemun Polje, Serbia. *Corresponding author (vdragicevic@mrizp.rs)
2Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences, P. fah 522, 11001 Belgrade, Serbia>
3Institute for Plant Protection and Environment, Teodora Drajzera 9, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia.

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