Biofortification of staple crops to supply higher levels of provitamin A to human diets can help combat micronutrient deficiencies, particularly in developing countries. PCR -based DNA markers distinguishing functional alleles of three key genes of maize endosperm carotenoid biosynthesis (PSY1, lcyE and crtRB1) have been developed to facilitate maize provitamin A biofortification via marker assisted selection. Previous studies of these functional DNA markers revealed inconsistent effects. The germplasm previously employed for discovering and validating these functional markers was mainly of temperate origin containing low frequencies of the favourable allele of the most significant polymorphism, crtRB1-5[prime]TE. Here, we investigate the vitamin A biofortification potential of these DNA markers in a germplasm panel of diverse tropical yellow maize inbred lines, with mixed genetic backgrounds of temperate and tropical germplasm to identify the most effective diagnostic markers for vitamin A biofortification.