Mutant Gene That Changes Protein Composition and Increases Lysine Content of Maize Endosperm

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Science  17 Jul 1964:
Vol. 145, Issue 3629, pp. 279-280
DOI: 10.1126/science.145.3629.279


Preliminary tests have shown that the endosperms of maize seeds homozygous for the opaque-2 mutant gene have a higher lysine content than normal kernels. As a critical test, a backcross progeny was divided into opaque-2 and normal kernels, the endosperms separated, and the amino acids determined. The opaque-2 endosperms had a different amino acid pattern and 69 percent more lysine than the normal seeds. The major reason for these changes is the synthesis of proteins with a greater content of basic amino acids in the acid-soluble fraction of the mutant endosperm. This is accompanied by a reduction in the ratio of zein to glutelin.

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