High-lysine maize: the key discoveries that have made it possible
- 645 Downloads
Forty-five years ago, a paper published by Mertz et al. (Science 145:279–280, 1964) initiated a revolution in the history of plant protein quality and affected dramatically the study of cereal crop storage proteins. The observation of the high lysine content of the endosperm of the opaque-2 (o2) maize mutant was a key factor in bringing about a new concept in the production of cereal seeds with a high nutritional value. It has been a long and very interesting road with astonishing results over these 45 years. We are now probably about to see the release of commercially engineered high-lysine maize lines. We have decided to pinpoint some key contributions to the science behind high-lysine plants and concentrated on the research done on maize, which is possibly the most complete and simple example to illustrate the advances achieved. However, studies on other plant species such as barley and model species such as tobacco are totally relevant and will be briefly addressed.
KeywordsAspartic acid Corn Isoleucine Lysine Maize Methionine Threonine
We are indebted to Professor Peter J. Lea for a critical reading of the manuscript. The authors wish to thank the continuous support over the years of the Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP-Brazil) and the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq-Brazil).
- Azevedo RA, Lea PJ, Damerval C, Landry J, Bellato CM, Meinhardt LW, Le Guilloux M, Delhaye S, Varisi VA, Gaziola SA, Gratão PL, Toro AA (2004b) Regulation of lysine metabolism and endosperm protein synthesis by the opaque-5 and opaque-7 maize mutations. J Agric Food Chem 52:4865–4871CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Falco SC, Guida T, Locke M, Mauvais J, Sanders C, Ward RT, Webber P (1995) Transgenic canola and soybean seeds with increased lysine. Bio-Technol 13:577–582Google Scholar
- Frizzi A, Huang S, Gilbertson LA, Armstrong TA, Luethy MH, Malvar TM (2008) Modifying lysine biosynthesis and catabolism in corn with a single bifunctional expression/silencing transgene cassette. Plant Biotech J 6:13–21Google Scholar
- Gaziola SA, Teixeira CMG, Lugli J, Sodek L, Azevedo RA (1997) The enzymology of lysine catabolism in rice seeds—isolation, characterization, and regulatory properties of a lysine 2-oxoglutarate reductase saccharopine dehydrogenase bifunctional polypeptide. Eur J Biochem 247:364–371CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Landry J (2003) Quantitation of zeins from the lysine content of grain, endosperm and glutelins of maize. Maydica 48:39–54Google Scholar
- Tsai CY, Dalby A (1974) Comparison of effect of shrunken-4, opaque-2, opaque-7, and floury-2 genes on zein content of maize during endosperm development. Cereal Chem 51:825–829Google Scholar
- Vasal SK (1994) High quality protein corn. In: Hallawer AR (ed) Specialty corns. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 79–120Google Scholar
- Villegas E, Vasal SK, Bjarnason M (1992) In Quality Protein Maize. Mertz ET (ed) Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, pp 49–78Google Scholar