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SANTIAGO R.,University of Vigo | BARROS-RIOS J.,University of North Texas | ALVAREZ A.,CSIC - Aula Dei Experimental Station | MALVAR R.A.,CSIC Mision Biologica de Galicia
Journal of Agricultural Science | Year: 2016

The direct response of a divergent selection programme for total cell wall ester-linked diferulate concentration in maize pith stalk tissues and its indirect effect on cell wall degradability and corn borer resistance have been previously evaluated. Since increased total diferulate concentration is expected to improve crop performance in response to corn borers, the objective of the present research was to evaluate the indirect response of the divergent selection for diferulates on agronomic traits under corn borer infestation. For this purpose, five maize populations with contrasting total diferulate concentrations were evaluated four environments for performance under protected and infested conditions. Measured traits were: days to anthesis, days to silking, plant height, stalk lodging, grain moisture at harvest and grain yield. High diferulate populations showed a significant reduction in anthesis (precocity), and were 11 cm taller than the starting population, while low diferulate populations were 9 cm shorter, and showed nearly 1 t/ha lower grain yield than the original and high diferulate populations. The analysis showed that cycles of selection were positively correlated with flowering, plant height and grain yield. The infestations with borers produced >1 t/ha of reduction in grain yield; although the higher diferulate populations showed a better performance under infestation than the low diferulate populations. This positive effect on the grain yield by increasing diferulate content can be considered an extra in order to breed for resistance to corn borers. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 Source

Barros-Rios J.,CSIC Mision Biologica de Galicia | Romani A.,University of Vigo | Peleteiro S.,University of Vigo | Garrote G.,University of Vigo | Ordas B.,CSIC Mision Biologica de Galicia
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2016

Twelve maize genotypes, were agronomically evaluated and their stover hydrothermally pretreated in a temperature range of 210-225 °C to assess the effects of genotype and pretreatment severity on stover recalcitrance toward bioethanol conversion. Maize genotypes exhibited significant variation for biomass yield and all agronomic evaluated, while among all cell wall constituents measured in the unpretreated stover, only ash content showed differences among genotypes. The pretreatment severities assayed impacted most stover compositional traits, and the glucose recovered after enzymatic hydrolysis displayed a similar profile among genotypes with similar genetic background. Harsher pretreatment conditions maximized the potential cellulosic bioethanol production (208-239 L/t), while the mildest maximized the bioethanol from the hemicellulosic hydrolysates (137-175 L/t). Consequently, when both pentose and hexose sugars were considered, the total potential bioethanol produced at the lowest and highest pretreatment temperatures was similar in all genotypes (292-358 L/t), indicating that the lowest temperature (210 °C) was the optimal among all assayed. Importantly, the ranking of genotypes for bioethanol yield (L/ha) closely resembled the ranking for stover yield (t/ha), indicating that breeding for biomass yield would increase the bioethanol production per hectare regardless of the manufacturing process. Similarly, the genetic regulation of corn stover moisture is possible and relevant for efficient energy production as biomass moisture has a potential impact on stover transportation, storage and processing requirements. Overall, these results indicate that local landrace populations are important genetic resources to improve cultivated crops, and that simultaneous breeding for production of grain and stover bioethanol is possible in corn. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Barros-Rios J.,CSIC Mision Biologica de Galicia | Malvar R.A.,CSIC Mision Biologica de Galicia | Jung H.-J.G.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Jung H.-J.G.,University of Minnesota | And 3 more authors.
Phytochemistry | Year: 2012

Cross-linking of grass cell wall components through diferulates (DFAs) has a marked impact on cell wall properties. However, results of genetic selection for DFA concentration have not been reported for any grass species. We report here the results of direct selection for ester-linked DFA concentration in maize stalk pith tissues and the associated changes in cell wall composition and biodegradability. After two cycles of divergent selection, maize populations selected for higher total DFA (DFAT) content (CHs) had 16% higher DFAT concentrations than populations selected for lower DFAT content (CLs). These significant DFA concentration gains suggest that DFA deposition in maize pith parenchyma cell walls is a highly heritable trait that is genetically regulated and can be modified trough conventional breeding. Maize populations selected for higher DFAT had 13% less glucose and 10% lower total cell wall concentration than CLs, suggesting that increased cross-linking of feruloylated arabinoxylans results in repacking of the matrix and possibly in thinner and firmer cell walls. Divergent selection affected esterified DFAT and monomeric ferulate ether cross link concentrations differently, supporting the hypothesis that the biosynthesis of these cell wall components are separately regulated. As expected, a more higher DFA ester cross-coupled arabinoxylan network had an effect on rumen cell wall degradability (CLs showed 12% higher 24-h total polysaccharide degradability than CHs). Interestingly, 8-8-coupled DFAs, previously associated with cell wall strength, were the best predictors of pith cell wall degradability (negative impact). Thus, further research on the involvement of these specific DFA regioisomers in limiting cell wall biodegradability is encouraged. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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