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Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 5139-5152; doi:10.3390/su7055139

Recurrent Selection and Participatory Plant Breeding for Improvement of Two Organic Open-Pollinated Sweet Corn (Zea mays L.) Populations

Department of Agronomy, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 9 March 2015 / Revised: 17 April 2015 / Accepted: 22 April 2015 / Published: 27 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [682 KB, uploaded 27 April 2015]

Abstract

Organic growers face unique challenges when raising sweet corn, and benefit from varieties that maintain high eating quality, germinate consistently, deter insect pests, and resist diseases. Genotype by environment rank changes can occur in the performance of cultivars grown on conventional and organic farms, yet few varieties have been bred specifically for organic systems. The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the changes made to open-pollinated sweet corn populations using recurrent selection and a participatory plant breeding (PPB) methodology. From 2008 to 2011, four cycles of two open-pollinated (OP) sweet corn populations were selected on a certified organic farm in Minnesota using a modified ear-to-row recurrent selection scheme. Selections were made in collaboration with an organic farmer, with selection criteria based on traits identified by the farmer. In 2012 and 2013, the population cycles were evaluated in a randomized complete block design in two certified organic locations in Wisconsin, with multiple replications in each environment. Significant linear trends were found among cycles of selection for quantitative and qualitative traits, suggesting the changes were due to recurrent selection and PPB methodology for these populations. However, further improvement is necessary to satisfy the requirements for a useful cultivar for organic growers. View Full-Text
Keywords: organic; participatory plant breeding; sweet corn; open-pollinated; recurrent selection organic; participatory plant breeding; sweet corn; open-pollinated; recurrent selection
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Shelton, A.C.; Tracy, W.F. Recurrent Selection and Participatory Plant Breeding for Improvement of Two Organic Open-Pollinated Sweet Corn (Zea mays L.) Populations. Sustainability 2015, 7, 5139-5152.

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