Genetic Improvement of Cereal Proteins

  • Edwin T. Mertz
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 7)


Cereal proteins are inferior nutritionally to the proteins in milk, meat, and eggs because of inadequate levels of the amino acid lysine. With the discovery in 1963 by Mertz, Bates, and Nelson (1) that the maize mutant opaque-2 had nearly twice as much lysine as ordinary maize has, scientists realized that cereal grain proteins could be improved in quality by genetic manipulation. The recent discovery of high-lysine mutants of barley (2) and sorghum (3) raises the hope that all cereals can be improved in protein quality.


Lysine Content Wide Cross High Lysine Amino Acid Lysine Endosperm Protein 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edwin T. Mertz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryPurdue UniversityLafayetteUSA

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