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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2020, Vol. 19 Issue (11): 2680-2689    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(20)63230-0
Special Issue: 玉米遗传育种合辑Maize Genetics · Breeding · Germplasm Resources 玉米耕作栽培合辑Maize Physiology · Biochemistry · Cultivation · Tillage
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Kernel crack characteristics for X-ray computed microtomography (μCT) and their relationship with the breakage rate of maize varieties
DONG Peng-fei1, 2, 3, XIE Rui-zhi2, WANG Ke-ru2, MING Bo2, HOU Peng2, HOU Jun-feng2, XUE Jun2, LI Chao-hai3, LI Shao-kun1, 2
1 Key Laboratory of Oasis Eco-Agriculture, Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps/College of Agronomy, Shihezi University, Shihezi 832000, P.R.China
2 Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences/Key Laboratory of Crop Physiology and Ecology, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Beijing 100081, P.R.China
3 College of Agronomy, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450046, P.R.China
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The most significant problem of maize grain mechanical harvesting quality in China at present is the high grain breakage rate (BR).  BR is often the key characteristic that is measured to select hybrids desirable for mechanical grain harvesting.  However, conventional BR evaluation and measurement methods have challenges and limitations.  Microstructural crack parameters evaluation of maize kernel is of great importance to BR.  In this connection, X-ray computed microtomography (μ-CT) has proven to be a quite useful method for the assessment of microstructure, as it provides important microstructural parameters, such as object volume, surface, surface/volume ratio, number of closed pores, and others.  X-ray computed microtomography is a non-destructive technique that enables the reuse of samples already measured and also yields bidimensional (2D) cross-sectional images of the sample as well as volume rendering.  In this paper, six different maize hybrid genotypes are used as materials, and the BR of the maize kernels of each variety is tested in the field mechanical grain harvesting, and the BR is used as an index for evaluating the breakage resistance of the variety.  The crack characteristic parameters of kernel were detected by X-ray micro-computed tomography, and the relationship between the BR and the kernel crack characteristics was analyzed by stepwise regression analysis.  Establishing a relationship between crack characteristic parameters and BR of maize is vital for judging breakage resistance.  The results of stepwise multiple linear regression (MLR) showed that the crack characteristics of the object surface, number of closed pores, surface of closed pores, and closed porosity percent were significantly correlated to the BR of field mechanical grain harvesting, with the standard partial regression coefficients of –0.998, –0.988, –0.999, and –0.998, respectively.  The R2 of this model was 0.999.  Results validation showed that the Stepwise MLR Model could well predict the BR of maize based on these four variables. 
Keywords:  breakage rate        kernel crack        maize        microstructure        X-ray computed microtomography  
Received: 10 December 2019   Accepted:
Fund: This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFD0300110, 2016YFD0300101) and the earmarked fund for China Agriculture Research System (CARS-02-25) and the Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Project of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence LI Shao-kun, Tel: +86-10-82108891, E-mail:   
About author:  DONG Peng-fei, E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

DONG Peng-fei, XIE Rui-zhi, WANG Ke-ru, MING bo, HOU Peng, HOU Jun-feng, XUE Jun, LI Chao-hai, LI shao-kun. 2020. Kernel crack characteristics for X-ray computed microtomography (μCT) and their relationship with the breakage rate of maize varieties. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 19(11): 2680-2689.

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