Interaction of endosperm mutants in the synthesis of storage proteins

Proteins from maize endosperm can be fractionated into various classes on the basis of their solubility. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effects on zein synthesis and endosperm development of some regulatory loci, i.e. opaque-2 (o2), defective endosperm (De*-30), mucronate (Mc), and opaque-6 (o6) (Table). All the mutations considered significantly reduced final endosperm weight. In particular, it has also been observed that opaque-6 affects more drastically the synthesis of the zein fraction in comparison to other mutants. Moreover, in order to investigate the relationships among these regulating loci some double mutant combinations have been analyzed. The result showed that in the double mutants o2 De-30, Mc De*-30 and o2 o6 the percentage of the zein fractions is much lower in comparison to the level present in the single mutants. This suggests an additive effect of these genes in the deposition of the storage protein.


N. Di Fonzo, E. Gentinetta, H. Hartings, M. Brembilla, M. Motto, C. Soave and F. Salamini

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