The maize P-wr gene specifies white (colorless) pericarps and red cob glumes, and we have previously analyzed the structure and expression of P-wr (MNL 69:9, 1995). We have recently begun the analysis of other factors which affect P-wr expression, including Ufo (Unstable factor for orange; D. Styles) Ufo is a dominant factor which intensifies P-wr pigmentation in husks and cob glumes, and also expands the tissue-specific distribution of P-wr pigmentation to the kernel pericarp and vegetative parts of the plant. Northern blot analysis shows that, compared to P-wr and P-rr plants, P-wr Ufo plants have much higher levels of C2, CHI1, and A1 transcripts in young silks and husks. Because the Ufo seeds provided by Dr. Styles also carried sm (salmon silks), further testing is required to determine whether the transcriptional effect is in fact due to Ufo or sm.
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