Oil Crops pp 493-506 | Cite as

Maize for Oil

  • Elizabeth A. Lee
Part of the Handbook of Plant Breeding book series (HBPB, volume 4)


Maize is not traditionally viewed as an oilseed crop; actually maize oil is considered a ‘minor’ oil among the traditional vegetable oils, representing only about 3.4% of the 1998–1999 US market (Orthoefer et al. 2003). Maize oil is a co-product of the wet and dry milling industries, which essentially breaks down the maize kernel into starch, oil, protein, and fiber (for review see Johnson and May 2003; Duensing et al. 2003). The US is the largest worldwide producer of maize oil; Brazil, China, Romania, countries of the former Soviet Union, former Yugoslavia, and South Africa also produce maize oil (Orthoefer et al. 2003).

Maize Kernel Structure and Composition

The maize kernel is a mixture of maternal tissues (e.g., pericarp) and zygotic tissues (e.g., embryo, aleurone, and endosperm) (Fig. 17.1). The embryo is diploid (2n) while the aleurone (i.e., first cell layer of endosperm tissue) and endosperm are triploid (3n). The triploid nature of the aleurone and endosperm...


Inbred Line Recurrent Selection Heterotic Group Maize Kernel Maize Breeding 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The author would like to dedicate this chapter to John W. Dudley and Robert J. Lambert for their perseverance and commitment to seeing the Illinois High-Oil/Low-Oil long-term selection experiment through 100 generations of selection.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant AgricultureUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

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