QUALITY BREEDING IN SWEET CORN
In Hungary sweet corn, already popular in the 1930s, regained interest in the 1970s. In this time, however, the old, open pollinated varieties had deteriorated and disappeared. In 1975 the large-scale sweet corn production trials at Sükösd in the State Farm of Hosszúhegy were based on US cultivars in lack of Hungarian ones /table 1/.
Sweet corn cultivars and hybrids in production or breeding can be grouped into three categories as to their genetical characteristics:
- Normal sweet corn cultivars /su1su1/
- Extra-sweet cultivars /su1su1sh2sh2/
- Cultivars with sugary enhancen genes /su1su1se se/ /Figure 1/.
- For processing the so-called normal single cross sweet corn containing the recessive gene su1 /sugary endosperm/ is adapted. Its processing value is decisively determined by the pericarp thickness in respect to palatability besides its taste and flavour.
At the beginning, our work aimed at increasing productivity but our very productive single crosses /i.e. Kecskeméti sárga SC 500/ did not satisfy quality demands of the industry.
Accordingly studies included the correlation /important in quality tests/ between shearing stress and pericarp thickness of the raw material as well as the heritability of pericarp thickness. For this purpose 15 inbred