Breeding and genetic analysis on the multiplasmic lines in maize (Zea mays L.). III. Electron microscope observations on starch grains in the endosperm of maize seed
--Li, J, Zeng, M, Li, S and Liu, Y

In this paper, starch grains in the endosperm of mature seed in multiplasmic maize are studied by using scanning electron microscope. Observations on endosperm starch grains show that different cytoplasms have different effects on the characters of starch grains. The starch grains of three sweet corn cytoplasmic lines (su1, sh2, bt1) are mainly spherical and packed tightly, which means they have some degree of similarity, while the starch grains of four cytoplasmic male sterile inbreds (T, S, C, 21A) are mostly irregular and packed loosely except (T)Mo17, whose starch grains are tightly packed. The average diameter of starch grains of these eleven inbreds ranges from 9.78µm to 14.69 µm , the smallest starch grain is in (T)Mo17 and the largest is in (21A)Mo17, 9.78µm and 14.69µm in diameter, respectively. See Table 1 and Plate I.

Table 1. Morphological characters of endosperm starch grains in multiplasmic maize
name of line
morphological character of 
starch grains
arranging pattem of starch grains mean diameter 
(µm )
(Fli)mo17 polyhedral or irregularly spherical dissimilar in size, tightly packed 9.92
(su1)Mo17 spherical, smooth similar in size, tightly packed 10.16
(sh2)Mo17 irregularly spherical, more matrix protein similar in size, tightly packed 10.23
(bt1)Mo17 irregularly spherical, more matrix dissimilar in size, loosely packed 9.83
(Pop)Mo17 spherical, small granules attached similar in size, tightly packed 12.78*
(wx)Mo17 spherical or ellipsoidal more matrix protein disimilar in size, tightly packed 12.57*
(Teo)Mo17 spherical or ellipsoidal less matrix protein disimilar in size tightly packed 12.60*
(T)Mo17 awl-shaped, spherical or ellipsoidal disimilar in size tightly packed 9.78
(S)Mo17 spherical, smooth disimilar in size tightly 
(C)Mo17 spherical or irregular dissimilar in size, tightly 
(21A)Mo17 polyhedral, rough similar in size, loosely 

We also explored the relationship between the characters of starch grains and the property and quality of seeds and some questions associated with mitochondrion and amyloplast. All these will become a basis for the further research in multiplasmic maize.

Plate I. Structure of starch grains for maize mature seed. [Note: (x1000). 1. (Fli)Mo17, 2. (su1)Mo17, 3. (sh2)Mo17, 4. (bt1)Mo17, 5. (pop)Mo17, 6. (wx)Mo17, 7. (Teo)Mo17, 8. (T)Mo17, 9. (S)Mo17, 10. (C)Mo17, 11. (21A)Mo17]

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