Main content area

Characteristics of carbohydrate metabolism in sweet corn (sugary-1) endosperms

Doehlert, D.C., Kuo, T.M., Juvik, J.A., Beers, E.P., Duke, S.H.
Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 1993 v.118 no.5 pp. 661
Zea mays, carbohydrate metabolism, gene dosage
Metabolic characteristics of developing sugary-1 maize (Zea mays L.) endosperms were investigated. In the later stages of development (>30 days postpollination), sugary-1 kernels maintained higher levels of many enzyme activities and retained more moisture than normal kernels. Higher enzyme activities were attributed to moisture retention and were not associated with any increase in dry weight accumulation. Of enzyme activities measured at 20 days postpollination, that of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase was higher in sugary-1 kernels than in normal, whereas total amylase, alpha-amylase, and pullulanase activities were lower. Experiments testing the effects of zero, one, two, and three doses of the sugary-1 gene in OH43 endosperms indicated that the sugary-1 phenotype was not expressed until three doses of the sugary-1 gene were present. Decreased activities of amylases, but not of pullulanase, were attributed to an interference in detection by phytoglycogen. Increased ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase activity is attributed to a response by the maize endosperm cells to increased sucrose concentrations.