Opaque11 Is a Central Hub of the Regulatory Network for Maize Endosperm Development and Nutrient Metabolism

Journal: The Plant Cell

Published: 2018-02-07

DOI: 10.1105/tpc.17.00616

Affiliations: 3

Authors: 10

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Research Highlight

A key kernel about maize genetics

 © Sawitree Pamee / EyeEm/Getty

© Sawitree Pamee / EyeEm/Getty

The discovery of a regulatory gene that underpins cellular development, nutrient metabolism and stress responses in the starchy part of corn kernels could help plant breeders develop more agronomically favourable crops.

A team that included researchers from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences mapped the gene responsible for the small and cloudy endosperm tissue in the kernels of a mutant variety of maize. The tissue is the part of the seed that acts as a food store for the developing plant embryo, and also provides the bulk of the calories when the plant is grown for food.

This gene, dubbed opaque11, encodes a regulatory protein that controls the activity of hundreds of other genes involved in commercially relevant processes such as sugar and protein synthesis and storage. The finding could inform future maize-breeding programs for food crops, animal feed and fuel.

Supported content

  1. The Plant Cell 30, 375–396 (2018). doi: 10.1105/tpc.17.00616
Institutions FC
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Bio-Energy Crops, SHU, China 0.75
Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Agrobiology, JAAS CAAS, China 0.20
National Maize Improvement Center (NMICC), CAU, China 0.05

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