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Plant Physiol Biochem. 2004 Jun;42(6):457-64.

Current models for starch synthesis and the sugary enhancer1 (se1) mutation in Zea mays.

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Edward R. Madigan Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1201 West Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.


Among the desirable quality traits essential for commercial production of fresh or processed sweet corn, kernel sugar content is universally important. In sweet corn genotypes the primary kernel sugar is sucrose, which is elevated at the expense of starch, particularly amylopectin. Sweet corn mutations have been traditionally divided into two classes. Generally speaking, class one mutations affect cytosolic reactions early in the process of starch synthesis, before starch is synthesized, and class two mutations affect reactions within the amyloplast directly involving starch granule assembly. Two widely used but previously unclassified mutations are sugary1 (su1) and sugary enhancer1 (se1). The se1 gene is a recessive modifier of su1; therefore, both genes require mutual discussion. This review provides current information about the su1 and se1 maize endosperm mutations and describes evidence further supporting previous suggestions that they fit criteria for categorization as class two mutants [Science 151 (1966) 341]. Information on the genetics and phenotype of se1 will be summarized and the hypothesized role of the se1 gene product discussed within the context of current models for starch synthesis in Zea mays L.

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