Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

First Advisor

Paul Scott

Second Advisor

Phil Becraft


Consumer demand for organic maize grain has steadily increased in the past decade which has resulted in an increased interest for this market class by plant breeders and geneticist. Each chapter in this dissertation investigates areas of concern to the organic community and possible solutions for improvement. Chapter 2 seeks to understand which combinations of genetic mechanisms are capable of a further increase in the methionine concentration of maize grain over individual mechanisms. Based on the genetic mechanisms evaluated, it was concluded that crosses combining dzr1 and recurrent selection in hybrid combination can elevate methionine concentration and overall grain nutritional quality. Chapter 3 evaluates a series of maize testcrosses with various environmental adaptations for their productivity in diverse geographical locations. All inbred lines used in this study were adapted to organic growing conditions and several testcrosses were found to have high yield performance and stability when two inbreds adapted to diverse growing conditions were crossed. Lastly, chapter 4 includes a proteomic analysis of Gametophyte factor1-strong to further understand this system for its potential use to maintain genetic purity in organic maize. Several proteins with unique expression to Gametophyte factor1-strong-containing pollen and pistil tissue were found and require additional studies to determine their involvement with this system.


Copyright Owner

Ryan Huffman



File Format


File Size

179 pages