Genetic analysis of opaque2 modifier loci in quality protein maize

  • David R. Holding
  • Brenda G. Hunter
  • Taijoon Chung
  • Bryan C. Gibbon
  • Clark F. Ford
  • Arvind K. Bharti
  • Joachim Messing
  • Bruce R. Hamaker
  • Brian A. Larkins
Original Paper


Quality protein maize (QPM) was created by selecting genetic modifiers that convert the starchy endosperm of an opaque2 (o2) mutant to a hard, vitreous phenotype. Genetic analysis has shown that there are multiple, unlinked o2 modifiers (Opm), but their identity and mode of action are unknown. Using two independently developed QPM lines, we mapped several major Opm QTLs to chromosomes 1, 7 and 9. A microarray hybridization performed with RNA obtained from true breeding o2 progeny with vitreous and opaque kernel phenotypes identified a small group of differentially expressed genes, some of which map at or near the Opm QTLs. Several of the genes are associated with ethylene and ABA signaling and suggest a potential linkage of o2 endosperm modification with programmed cell death.



The research described in this manuscript was supported by grants from the USDA (CSREES 2004-35301-14537 to BAL) and DOE (# DE-FG05-95ER20194 to JM). We thank Roberto Lizzaraga-Guerra for creating the genetic materials that were used in this analysis, and acknowledge his contribution to the QTL marker analysis. The authors owe a special thanks to Dr. William Bickel in the Physics Department at the University of Arizona, who tested a variety of procedures for measuring kernel vitreousness, and to Max Feldman for technical support. Authors also thank Tim Helentjaris and John Klingler for reviewing and commenting on the manuscript.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary Table 1 (XLS 28 kb)
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Supplementary Table 2 (XLS 17 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • David R. Holding
    • 1
  • Brenda G. Hunter
    • 1
  • Taijoon Chung
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bryan C. Gibbon
    • 1
    • 3
  • Clark F. Ford
    • 4
  • Arvind K. Bharti
    • 5
  • Joachim Messing
    • 5
  • Bruce R. Hamaker
    • 6
  • Brian A. Larkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeneticsUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologyBaylor UniversityWacoUSA
  4. 4.Department of Food Science and Human NutritionIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  5. 5.Waksman Institute of MicrobiologyRutgers UniversityPiscatawayUSA
  6. 6.Department of Food SciencePurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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