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Plant Physiol. 1997 Oct;115(2):501-10.

Sequence analysis of the cloned glossy8 gene of maize suggests that it may code for a beta-ketoacyl reductase required for the biosynthesis of cuticular waxes.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, Iowa State University, Ames 50011, USA.


The gl8 locus of maize (Zea mays L.) was previously defined by a mutation that reduces the amount and alters the composition of seedling cuticular waxes. Sixty independently derived gl8 mutant alleles were isolated from stocks that carried the Mutator transposon system. A DNA fragment that contains a Mu8 transposon and that co-segregates with one of these alleles, gl8-Mu3142, was identified and cloned. DNA flanking the Mu8 transposon was shown via allelic cross-referencing experiments to represent the gl8 locus. The gl8 probe revealed a 1.4-kb transcript present in wild-type seedling leaves and, in lesser amounts, in other organs and at other developmental stages. The amino acid sequence deduced from an apparently full-length gl8 cDNA exhibits highly significant sequence similarity to a group of enzymes from plants, eubacteria, and mammals that catalyzes the reduction of ketones. This finding suggests that the GL8 protein probably functions as a reductase during fatty acid elongation in the cuticular wax biosynthetic pathway.

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