Skip to main content

Genetic regulation of storage protein content in maize endosperm

Abstract

Sodium dodecylsulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis reveals that zein prepared from normal maize inbred (Zea mays L.) contains six separable components. Z1 and Z2 are the predominant species, with molecular weights of 21,800 and 19,000 daltons. Amino acid analysis of these two components shows that both are rich in glutamic acid, leucine, and proline, but low in lysine. Of the four minor bands, Z3, Z4, Z5, and Z6, the latter two exist only in trace amounts. A mutation at the opaque-2 locus severely suppresses the synthesis of Z1. The nonallelic mutant, opaque-7, strongly suppresses the synthesis of Z3 and Z4, while slightly reducing Z2. On the other hand, the floury-2 mutant appears to reduce the synthesis of these six proteins in the same relative proportion. In the double mutant combinations, opaque-2 apparently is epistatic to opaque-7 and floury-2 in the synthesis of zein components. The glutelin fraction shows a more complex banding pattern; however, qualitative differences are not apparent among the mutant lines examined.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Association of Official Agricultural Chemists (1970). Official Method of Analysis, 11th ed., AOAC, Washington, D.C., p. 858.

    Google Scholar 

  • Baudet, J., Mossé, J., Landy, J., and Moureux, T. (1966). Etude sur les proteines du mais. I. Composition en acides amines des fractions axotees du grain. Ann. Physiol. Veg. 8321.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dalby, A. (1974). Rapid method for determining the zein content of whole maize seed or isolated endosperm. Cereal Chem. 51586.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hansel, L. W., Tsai, C. Y., and Nelson, O. E. (1973). The effect of the floury-2 gene on the distribution of protein fractions and methionine in maize endosperm. Cereal Chem. 50383.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ingversen, J., Koie, B., and Doll, H. (1973). Induced seed protein mutant of barley. Experientia 291151.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jimenez, J. R. (1966). Protein fractionation studies of high-lysine corn. In: Mertz, E. T., and Nelson, O. E. (eds.), Proceedings of the High-Lysine Corn Conference, Corn Ind. Res. Found., Washington, D.C.

    Google Scholar 

  • Krull, L. H., Wall, J. S., and Dimler, R. J. (1963). Dimethyl sulfoxide as solvent for amino nitrogen determination on cereal proteins by the Van Slyke manometric method. Anal. Biochem. 6375.

    Google Scholar 

  • Laemmli, U. K. (1970). Cleavage of structural proteins during the assembly of the head of bacteriophage T4. Nature 227680.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lowry, O. H., Rosebrough, N. Y., Fan, A. L., and Randall, R. J. (1951). Protein measurement with the Folin phenol reagent. J. Biol. Chem. 193265.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ma, Y., and Nelson, O. E. (1975). Amino acid composition and storage proteins in two new high-lysine mutants in maize. Cereal Chem. 52412.

    Google Scholar 

  • McWhirter, K. S. (1971). A floury endosperm, high-lysine locus on chromosome 10. Maize Genet. Coop. News Letter 45184.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mertz, E. T., and Bressani, R. (1957). Studies on corn proteins. I. A new method of extraction. Cereal Chem. 3463.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mertz, E. T., Bates, L. S., and Nelson, O. E. (1964). Mutant gene that changes protein composition and increases lysine content of maize endosperm. Science 145279.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mossé, J. (1966). Alcohol soluble proteins of cereal grains. Fed. Proc. 251663.

    Google Scholar 

  • Munck, L., Karlsson, K. E., Hagberg, A., and Eggum, B. O. (1970). Gene for improved nutritional value in barley seed protein. Science 168985.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nelson, O. E., Mertz, E. T., and Bates, L. S. (1965). Second mutant gene affecting the amino acid pattern of maize endosperm proteins. Science 1501469.

    Google Scholar 

  • Singh, R., and Axtell, J. D. (1973). High lysine mutant gene (h1) that improves protein quality and biological value of grain sorghum. Crop. Sci. 13535.

    Google Scholar 

  • Turner, J. E., Boundy, J. A., and Dimler, R. J. (1965). Zein: A heterogeneous protein containing disulfide-linked aggregates. Cereal Chem. 42452.

    Google Scholar 

  • Weber, K., and Osborn, M. (1969). The reliability of molecular weight determination by dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. J. Biol. Chem. 2444406.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wolf, M. J., Khoo, U., and Seckinger, H. L. (1967). Subcellular structure of endosperm protein in high-lysine and normal corn. Science 157556.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Additional information

This research was supported in part by a grant from the Lilly Endowment.

Journal Paper No. 6100 of the Purdue University Agricultural Experimental Station.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lee, K.H., Jones, R.A., Dalby, A. et al. Genetic regulation of storage protein content in maize endosperm. Biochem Genet 14, 641–650 (1976). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00485842

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00485842

Key words

  • Zea mays L.
  • storage proteins
  • genetic control
  • gel electrophoresis