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Patterns of polypeptide synthesis in various maize organs under anaerobiosis

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The pattern of protein synthesis was compared in several organs of maize (Zea mays L.) under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Protein synthesis was measured by [35S]methionine incorporation and analysis by two-dimensional native-SDS (sodium lauryl sulfate) polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and fluorography. The aerobic protein-synthesis profiles were very different for root, endosperm, scutellum and anther wall. However, except for some characteristic qualitative and quantitative differences, the patterns of protein synthesis during anaerobiosis were remarkably similar for these diverse organs and also for mesocotyl and coleoptile. The proteins synthesized were the anaerobic polypeptides (ANPs) which have been previously described in anaerobic roots of seedlings. Leaves exhibited no detectable protein synthesis under anaerobic conditions, and died after a short anaerobic treatment. Evidence is presented that the ANPs are not a generalized response to stress. This indicates that the ANPs are synthesized as a specific response to anaerobic conditions such as flooding.

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alcohol dehydrogenase


anaerobic polypeptide


sodium lauryl sulfate


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Correspondence to Michael Freeling.

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Okimoto, R., Sachs, M.M., Porter, E.K. et al. Patterns of polypeptide synthesis in various maize organs under anaerobiosis. Planta 150, 89–94 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00385619

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Key words

  • Anaerobiosis
  • Protein synthesis, organspecific
  • Stress
  • Zea