Sweet Corn Genotypes

Nearly all sweet corn types listed below rely on one of two recessive genes (su1 "normal" and sh2 "shrunken"). Each type may benefit from isolation from other types within its own group and the resulting cross pollination will not produce field corn kernels. Cross pollination between groups, or with field or popcorn will produce field corn kernels. Listed here are the groupings of su1 and sh2 genotypes and some of the trademarks or brand names currently available.

SU1 GROUP

  • NORMAL (SUGARY)
  • QUADSWEET™
  • SUGARY ENHANCED
  • SWEET BREEDS™
  • SYNERGISTIC
  • TABLE SWEET®
  • TRIPLE SWEET™
  • TRIPLE SWEET PLUS

SH2 GROUP

  • AUGMENTED
  • CRISP N SWEET™
  • GOURMET SWEET™
  • MULTISWEET®
  • SHRUNKEN (SH2)
  • SUMMER SWEET®
  • SUPERSWEET
  • XTRA TENDER
GENOTYPE
GENERAL INFORMATION
ISOLATION AND PLANTING
SU
SUGARY
(normal)
Normal sugary (su) varieties are the standard type of sweet corn enjoyed for many years. They are known for their creamy corn flavor and mild sugars. The sugars quickly convert to starch so they are best eaten soon after harvest.
Isolate from field, pop corn and sh2 group of sweet corns.
SE
SUGARY
ENHANCER
These sweet corns contain the sugary enhanced (se) modifier genes that increase sugars and tenderness to varying degrees. These higher sugar levels result in hybrids that mantain their quality over a longer period of time. Homozygous denotes that both parents of the hybrid are se.
Isolate from field, pop corn and sh2 group of sweet corns. For best results, also isolate from Normal (su) sweet corn.
SYNERGISTIC
Synergistic sweet corns combine the characteristics of both supersweet and sugary enhanced varieties. The kernels segregate on the ear at 3 sugary kernels to 1 supersweet. Synergistic varieties are not recommended for long-haul shippers or processors and must be isolated from supersweet varieties.
Isolate from field, pop corn and sh2 group of sweet corns. For best results isolate from su1 Normal (su) sweet corn.
SH2 - SHRUNKEN
(aka Supersweets)
Shrunken (Supersweets) contain the shrunken-2 (sh2) gene and get their name from the appearance of the dried kernel. Shrunkens have a very high sugar content, as well as a slower conversion of sugar to starch. Shrunken sweet corns must be isolated from other non-shrunken corns.
Isolate from all su1 groups of sweet corns, field and pop corns. Do not plant too deep. Soil temperatures need to be at least 60 degrees F.
AUGMENTED
SHRUNKENS
Augmented Shrunken sweet corns are a new generation of shrunken corn types. Like regular shrunkens, they contain the sh2 gene, but kernels of augmented shrunken are extra juicy and tender like sugary enhanced (se) varieties.
Isolate from all su1 groups of sweet corns, field and pop corns. Do not plant too deep. Soil temperatures need to be at least 60 degrees F.