Development of biofortified maize hybrids through marker-assisted stacking of β-Carotene Hydroxylase, Lycopene-ε-Cyclase and Opaque2 genes
Traditional yellow maize though contains high kernel carotenoids, the concentration of provitamin A (proA) is quite low (<2 μg/g), compared to recommended level (15 μg/g). It also possesses poor endosperm protein quality due to low concentration of lysine and tryptophan. Natural variant of crtRB1 (β-carotene hydroxylase) and lcyE (lycopene-ε-cyclase) cause significant enhancement of proA concentration, while recessive allele, opaque2 (o2) enhances the level of these amino acids. Development of biofortified maize enriched in proA, lysine and tryptophan thus holds significance in alleviation of micronutrient malnutrition.