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Illinois long-term selection experiment for oil and protein in corn


The history of the Illinois long-term selection experiment for oil and protein in corn was reviewed extensively in the proceedings of a symposium on long term selection (Dudley and Lambert, 2004). Details of selection intensity, breeding procedure, and methods of chemical analysis are found in those proceedings. Briefly, the experiment was started by C.G. Hopkins in 1896 (Hopkins, 1899). The open-pollinated corn cultivar Burr’s White was the founder population. Four selected strains were established: Illinois High Oil (IHO), Illinois Low Oil (ILO), Illinois High Protein (IHP), and Illinois Low Protein (ILP). Selection in each strain was in the direction indicated by the name of the strain (i.e., IHO was selected for high oil concentration in the kernel). Mass selection was used with a selection intensity of approximately 1 out of 5 for most of the experiment (Dudley and Lambert, 2004). After 48 generations, reverse selection was started in each strain to establish the Reverse High Oil (RHO), Reverse Low Oil (RLO), Reverse High Protein (RHP), and Reverse Low Protein (RLP) strains (Leng, 1962, Woodworth et al., 1952). After seven generations of selection in RHO, selection was again reversed to create the Switchback High Oil strain (SHO). A second reverse selection strain (RLP2) was started in generation 91 of ILP.

The user of these files is referred to the publications cited above and listed below for details of the selection experiment and major results.

Dudley, J. W. and R.J. Lambert. 2004. 100 generations of selection for oil and protein in corn. Plant Breeding Reviews 24:(part 1)79-110.

Hopkins, C.G. 1899. Improvement in the chemical composition of the corn kernel. P. 205-240. Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 55.

Leng, E.R. 1962. Selection reversal in strains of corn previously long-term selected for chemical composition. Crop Science 2:167-170.

Woodworth, C.M., E.R. Leng, and R.W. Jugenheimer. 1952. Fifty generations of selection for oil and protein in corn. Agronomy Journal 44:60-65.

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