Endosperm Protein Synthesis in Maize Mutants with Increased Lysine Content

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Science  30 Jun 1972:
Vol. 176, Issue 4042, pp. 1425-1427
DOI: 10.1126/science.176.4042.1425


The endosperm proteins of the maize mutants, opaque-2, opaque-7, floury-2, brittle-2, and the double mutant of opaque-2 and brittle-2, were separated into five soluble fractions by the Landry-Moureaux method. As compared to their isogenic normal counterparts, the mutant endosperms had higher concentrations of albumins, globulins, and glutelin-3, and lower concentrations of prolamines. The combination of the opaque-2 and brittle-2 genes enhanced this difference. Although the four mutant genes are located on three different chromosomes, they exert a similar effect on endosperm protein composition. Five other starchmodifying mutants with high lysine content resemble the brittle-2 mutant in endosperm protein composition, when the gene is present either singly or combined with opaque-2. Therefore, the pattern of protein synthesis in all maize mutants with high lysine concentrations may be either identical or very similar. Because no synergistic effect on lysine concentration is obtained when floury-2 is combined with opaque-2, different pathways leading to reduced zein synthesis may exist in the floury and starch-modifying mutants with high lysine concentrations.

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