The maize high-lysine mutant opaque7 is defective in an acyl-CoA synthetase-like protein.
ABSTRACT Maize (Zea mays) has a large class of seed mutants with opaque or nonvitreous endosperms that could improve the nutritional quality of our food supply. The phenotype of some of them appears to be linked to the improper formation of protein bodies (PBs) where zein storage proteins are deposited. Although a number of genes affecting endosperm vitreousness have been isolated, it has been difficult to clone opaque7 (o7), mainly because of its low penetrance in many genetic backgrounds. The o7-reference (o7-ref) mutant arose spontaneously in a W22 inbred, but is poorly expressed in other lines. We report here the isolation of o7 with a combination of map-based cloning and transposon tagging. We first identified an o7 candidate gene by map-based cloning. The putative o7-ref allele has a 12-bp in-frame deletion of codons 350-353 in a 528-codon-long acyl-CoA synthetase-like gene (ACS). We then confirmed this candidate gene by generating another mutant allele from a transposon-tagging experiment using the Activator/Dissociation (Ac/Ds) system in a W22 background. The second allele, isolated from ∼1 million gametes, presented a 2-kb Ds insertion that resembles the single Ds component of double-Ds, McClintock's original Dissociation element, at codon 496 of the ACS gene. PBs exhibited striking membrane invaginations in the o7-ref allele and a severe number reduction in the Ds-insertion mutant, respectively. We propose a model in which the ACS enzyme plays a key role in membrane biogenesis, by taking part in protein acylation, and that altered PBs render the seed nonvitreous.
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ABSTRACT: Maize (Zea mays) is the most widely grown crop species in the world and a classical model organism for plant research. The completion of a high-quality reference genome sequence and the advent of high-throughput sequencing have greatly empowered re-sequencing studies in maize. In this study, plants of maize inbred line B73 descended from two different sets of seed material grown for several generations either in the field or in the greenhouse were found to show a different growth phenotype and ionome under phosphate starvation conditions and moreover a different responsiveness towards mycorrhizal fungi of the species Glomus intraradices (syn: Rhizophagus irregularis). Whole genome re-sequencing of individuals from both sets and comparison to the B73 reference sequence revealed three cryptic introgressions on chromosomes 1, 5 and 10 in the line grown in the greenhouse summing up to a total of 5,257 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Transcriptome sequencing of three individuals from each set lent further support to the location of the introgression intervals and confirmed them to be fixed in all sequenced individuals. Moreover, we identified >120 genes differentially expressed between the two B73 lines. We thus have found a nearly-isogenic line (NIL) of maize inbred line B73 that is characterized by an altered growth phenotype under phosphate starvation conditions and an improved responsiveness towards symbiosis with mycorrhizal fungi. Through next-generation sequencing of the genomes and transcriptomes we were able to delineate exact introgression intervals. Putative de novo mutations appeared approximately uniformly distributed along the ten maize chromosomes mainly representing G:C -> A:T transitions. The plant material described in this study will be a valuable tool both for functional studies of genes differentially expressed in both B73 lines and for research on growth behavior especially in response to symbiosis between maize and mycorrhizal fungi.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(5):e96782. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Zeins are the major seed storage proteins in maize (Zea mays). They are synthesized on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and deposited into protein bodies. Failure of signal peptide cleavage from zeins can cause an opaque endosperm in the mature kernel; however, the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for this phenotype are not fully understood. In this study, we report the cloning and characterization of a novel, semi-dominant opaque mutant, floury4 (fl4). fl4 is caused by a mutated z1A 19kD α-zein with defective signal peptide cleavage. Zein protein bodies in fl4 endosperm are misshapen and aggregated. Immunolabeling analysis indicated that fl4 participates in the assembly of zeins into protein bodies, disrupting their proper spatial distribution. ER stress is stimulated in fl4 endosperm, as illustrated by dilated rough ER and markedly up-regulated binding protein (BIP) content. Further analysis confirmed that several ER stress pathways are induced in fl4 endosperm, including endoplasmic reticulum associated degradation (ERAD), the unfolded protein response (UPR), and translational suppression by the phosphorylation of eIF2α. Programmed cell death (PCD) is also elevated, corroborating the intensity of ER stress in fl4. These results provided new insights into cellular responses caused by storage proteins with defective signal peptides.Plant physiology 04/2014; · 6.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Prolamin storage proteins are the main repository for nitrogen in the endosperm of cereal seeds. These stable proteins accumulate at massive levels due to the high level expression from extensively duplicated genes in endoreduplicated cells. Such abundant accumulation is achieved through efficient packaging in endoplasmic reticulum localized protein bodies in a process that is not completely understood. Prolamins are also a key determinant of hard kernel texture in the mature seed; an essential characteristic of cereal grains like maize. However, deficiencies of key essential amino acids in prolamins result in relatively poor grain protein quality. The inverse relationship between prolamin accumulation and protein quality has fueled an interest in understanding the role of prolamins and other proteins in endosperm maturation. This article reviews recent technological advances that have enabled dissection of overlapping and non-redundant roles of prolamins, particularly the maize zeins. This has come through molecular characterization of mutants first identified many decades ago, selective down-regulation of specific zein genes or entire zein gene families, and most recently through combining deletion mutagenesis with current methods in genome and transcriptome profiling. Works aimed at understanding prolamin deposition and function as well as creating novel variants with improved nutritional and digestibility characteristics, are reported.Frontiers in Plant Science 01/2014; 5:276. · 3.60 Impact Factor