Maize, also known as corn, is higher in energy density and starch content and has a slower rate of rumen fermentation. It contains healthy nutrients, high amounts of insoluble fiber, etc.

A new research discovered the genes that control vitamin E content in maize grain. It is believed that the findings could improve the nutritional profile of this staple crop.

Scientists identified 14 genes across the genome that were involved in the synthesis of vitamin E. Six of them were unknown, but encode proteins that contribute to a class of antioxidant compounds called tocochromanols, collectively known as vitamin E.

The tocochromanols offers good heart health in humans and proper functioning in plants.

Michael Gore, associate professor of plant breeding and genetics said, “We have established a near-complete foundation for the genetic improvement of vitamin E in the grain of maize and other major cereals.”

Christine Diepenbrock, a graduate student in Gore’s lab said, “There has been talking, among breeders working to increase provitamin A in maize, that we could increase vitamin E at the same time. They are related compounds biochemically, and tocochromanols are essential for seed viability in that they prevent seed oils from going rancid throughout seed storage, germination, and early seedling development.”

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