Molecular and General Genetics MGG

, Volume 149, Issue 1, pp 5–21 | Cite as

Basis for the diversity of states of controlling elements in maize

  • Peter A. Peterson


In maize the insertion of a controlling element such as the regulatory element, En, (Enhancer) at a locus generates diverse derivatives. These derivatives include stable phenotypes that range from colorless to full color. Distinguishable patterns are determined by timing and frequency of mutation events. It has been hypothesized that diverse expressions are based either on position of the controlling element at the locus or composition differences among controlling elements. — Experiments with two target loci, A2 and C, indicate that the previous pattern of a controlling element does not influence the pattern generated at a new site. This finding supports the hypothesis that these diverse trans-effects of En are not caused by a change in the genetic information of En itself but rather by its position; diverse expressions are a manifestation of the effect of an element at a specific locus site. — Controlling elements are discussed in relation to chromosome structure, gene activation, gene programming and possible parallels in prokaryotes.


Color Maize Gene Activation Regulatory Element Genetic Information 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter A. Peterson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AgronomyIowa State UniversityAmes

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