Influence of annual teosinte cytoplasm on SDS-protein subunits of maize endosperm

The cytoplasm of annual teosinte (Zea mexicana) influences not only the expression of some genes but also fertility, plant vigor, precocity and plant yield (Mazoti, Rev. Arg. Agr. 17:145, 1950; Mazoti, Rev. Inv. Agr. 8:175, 1954; Mazoti, Rev. Arg. Agr. 25:12, 1958). The purpose of this work is to investigate whether there is any influence of annual teosinte cytoplasm on the molecular pattern of endosperm soluble proteins. The study was performed in maize inbreds with an equivalent nucleus but with different cytoplasm, obtained by Mazoti. The genotype is a/a b/b C/C r/r pr/pr pl/pl ij/ij gl/gl, one of them with annual teosinte cytoplasm (E) and the other with maize cytoplasm (Z).

The soluble endosperm proteins were fractioned in both lines according to Laemmli (Nature, 227:680, 1970), by means of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in the presence of SDS (SDS-PAGE). The results obtained are shown in Figure 1.

Since the nuclei of both lines are equivalent, the differences between them could be attributed to the influence of the cytoplasm. The protein patterns are different according to the cytoplasm. The line with teosinte cytoplasm shows either the lack of some protein subunits, or the presence of others which are absent in the line with maize cytoplasm. Based on these data, it is clear that teosinte cytoplasm also affects the expression of genes which codify endosperm proteins. A similar phenomenon conditioned by perennial teosinte cytoplasm was previously communicated (MNL 55:62, 1981). According to the results presented here, as well as those previously reported, it would be suggested that the main effect of the cytoplasms of the wild relatives of maize on storage proteins is revealed by a blockage of the expression of certain genes that codify storage proteins.

Figure 1.

Angel Alberto Nivio and Jorge Luis Magoja


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