Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Food Science and Human Nutrition

First Advisor

Manju Reddy

Second Advisor

Paul Scott


Most of the phosphorus (P) in cereal grains is in the form of phytic acid, a potent inhibitor of iron absorption that cannot be digested by monogastric livestock or humans. High phytate content in staple crops contributes to the high incidence of iron deficiency in developing countries. Low phytic acid (lpa) maize mutants are seen as a potential strategy to improve iron bioavailability, but they have poor seed quality. Our objective was to develop both low and high phytic acid maize populations using recurrent selection, and to compare agronomic qualities and iron bioavailability of these two types of maize, as well as compare them with lpa mutant maize. Three cycles of selection were carried out in two broad-based synthetic populations, BS11 and BS31. Our research found that recurrent selection produced a significant difference in phytic acid content between the high and low BS11 populations (P<0.05), but not in the BS31 populations (P>0.05). The BS11LPA maize population had improved germination relative to lpa mutant inbred lines (13-16%, P<0.05), but had similar iron bioavailability (P>0.05).


Copyright Owner

Alyssa Whitney Beavers



File Format


File Size

114 pages