Quality

BIOCHEMISTRY

The biochemical unit is an integral part of the Indian Institute of Maize Research and played an important role in the development and biological evaluation of quality protein maize (QPM) and its value added products. The QPM development programme was initiated in early sixties and by the end of the decade three opaque-2 maize composite varieties namely, Shakti, Rattan and Protina were developed under the auspices of All India Coordinated Maize Improvement Project, and released for commercial production during 1971. Later on, about half a dozen single cross hybrids of QPM were developed and released for commercial cultivation. The biochemistry laboratory played an important role in selecting the promising germplasm for protein quality. The nutritionally improved genotypes were biologically evaluated on small animals as well as on children of the weaker section to realize the results quality protein maize.

Research

Development of Quality protein maize (QPM)

QPM development required continuous monitoring of protein quality and thus needed a strong support from biochemical laboratory. Simple analytical techniques were developed and used to analyze large number of samples in a rapid and efficient manner to provide results to the breeders in a timely fashion to make right decision at right time. This resulted in saving of resources and manpower use. Collaboration between biochemists and breeders was excellent and each group was aware of the needs, urgencies and work priorities of the other. The protein quality was assessed in the defatted kernel endosperm. Complete amino acid profile was generated in the selected germplasm.

Identification of nutritionally superior germplasm

Wide variability exists in maize germplasm with respect to nutritional quality. Protein content varies from 7-13 per cent, oil from 2-9 per cent, sugars from 2-20 per cent, starch from 67-73 per cent, etc. Large scale screening results in the identification of superior germplasm for nutritional quality. Identification of high sugar lines resulted in the development of first public sector sweet corn hybrid HSC-1. High oil lines have been identified and registered with NBPGR. Carotenoids are important pigments essentially required for humans. Superior germplasm rich in carotenoids has been identified and is being used in the breeding programme.

Academics

Scientists of biochemistry group constitute core faculty of Biochemistry Division of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute- PG School.

Facilities:

  • Ultra performance liquid chromatography
  • Lyfolyser
  • Vacuum concentrator
  • Geltech
  • Automatic solvent extractor system
  • Near infrared reflectance transmittance
  • Double beam spectrophotometer
  • Fully automatic fermentation system
  • High speed refrigerated centrifuge
  • Alcohol distillation system

Achievements:

  • Development of about half a dozen quality protein maize single cross hybrids.
  • Identification of more than 100 QPM lines.
  • Identification of a high oil maize line.

Ongoing projects:

  • Biochemical Characterization of Normal and Speciality Corn Germplasm.
  • Biochemical studies on shelf-life of carotenoids in maize.