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Physiol Plant. 2019 Feb 14. doi: 10.1111/ppl.12944. [Epub ahead of print]

Comprehensive dynamic transcriptome analysis at two seed germination stages in maize (Zea mays L.).

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College of Agronomy, Henan University of Science and Technology, Luoyang, 471003, China.
College of Agronomy, Synergetic Innovation Centre of Henan Grain Crops and National Key Laboratory of Wheat and Maize Crop Science, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou, 450002, China.
Henan Academy of Agricultural Science/Henan Provincial Key Laboratory of Maize Biology, Cereal Institute, Zhengzhou, 450002, China.


Seed germination, as an integral stage of crop production, directly affects Zea mays (maize) yield and grain quality. However, the molecular mechanisms of seed germination remain unclear in maize. We performed comparative transcriptome analysis of two maize inbred lines, Yu82 and Yu537A, at two stages of seed germination. Expression profile analysis during seed germination revealed that a total of 3381 and 4560 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in Yu82 and Yu537A at the two stages. Transcription factors were detected from several families, such as the bZIP, ERF, WRKY, MYB and bHLH families, which indicated that these transcription factor families might be involved in driving seed germination in maize. Prominent DEGs were submitted for KEGG enrichment analysis, which included plant hormones, amino acid mechanism, nutrient reservoir, metabolic pathways and ribosome. Of these pathways, genes associated with plant hormones, especially gibberellins, abscisic acid and auxin may be important for early germination in Yu82. In addition, DEGs involved in amino acid mechanism showed significantly higher expression levels in Yu82 than in Yu537A, which indicated that energy supply from soluble sugars and amino acid metabolism may contribute to early germination in Yu82. This results provide novel insights into transcriptional changes and gene interactions in maize during seed germination.


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