Biotech Updates

Vivek QPM 9 - an Early Maturing QPM Maize Hybrid for India

April 24, 2009

Maize (Zea mays L.) is an important food and feed crop of the world. It ranks fifth in acreage and third in production. It is one of the major sources of calorie and protein. However, it is deficient in essential amino acids viz., lysine and tryptophan. Quality protein maize (QPM) with opaque-2 gene along with associated modifiers contains twice as much lysine and tryptophan and 30% less leucine than the normal maize. The reduced level of zein further improves the nutritional quality of the QPM.

At the Indian Center for Agricultural Research, molecular marker-assisted breeding was used to improve the protein quality of Vivek Hybrid 9. Vivek QPM 9 was developed and was found to yield at par with the parent hybrid in the Himalayan states (58 q/ha) as well as in peninsular India (54 q/ha), under the All India Coordinated Maize Improvement Project (AICRP on Maize) during 2005 and 2007. In addition, it possesses all the good quality of Vivek Hybrid 9 with added advantages of 30% higher lysine and 44% more tryptophan. Better quality of protein in QPM is expected to help in reducing protein malnutrition among rural masses.

The article "Quality Protein Maize for Nutritional Security: Rapid Development of Short Duration Hybrids through Molecular Marker Assisted Breeding" by H. S. Gupta and colleagues was published by Current Science. It is available for download at  Additional information may be obtained from co-author Dr. P.K.Agrawal at