Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The effect of the etched (et) mutation on the amylolytic enzyme activities in germinating kernels and seedlings of Zea mays

  • 37 Accesses

  • 3 Citations


The etched (et) mutation in maize causes distinct depressions and structural gaps in the endosperm and also gives rise to virescent seedlings, α- and β-Amylase activities were observed to be higher in et + et + kernels and seedlings as compared to that of the et et mutant. The total amylase and β-amylase trends during germination also differed between normal and mutant kernels and seedlings (it increases in the wildtype and decreases in et et). On the contrary, the overall α-amylase trend was found to be similar in both genotypes (slight decrease during germination). The native gel electrophoresis of crude enzyme extracts did not reveal any qualitative differences in α and β amylases during germination. The germinating et et kernels initially showed lower levels of starch compared with the wild type kernels, whereas no such difference was found at later stages of germination. It is concluded that et gene associated endosperm lesions lead to an impairment of starch degradation in germinating kernels resulting in virescent seedlings.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bernfield P (1955) Amylase, α and β. Methods Enzymol 1:149–156

  2. Coe EH Jr, Neuffer MG (1977) The genetics of corn. In: Sprague GF (ed) Corn and corn improvement. Am Soc Agron, Madison/WI, p 111–223

  3. Coe EH Jr, Hoisington DA, Neuffer MG (1983) Gene list and linkage map of corn (maize). Maize Genet Coop Lett 57:175–185

  4. Davis B (1964) Disc electrophoresis II. Method and application to human serum proteins. Ann NY Acad Sci 121:404–427

  5. Hopkins WG, Elfman B (1984) Temperature-induced chloroplast ribosome deficiency in virescent maize. J Hered 75:207–211

  6. Lowry OH, Rosebrough NJ, Farr AL, Randall RJ (1951) Protein measurement with Folin-phenol reagent. J Biol Chem 193:265–275

  7. MacRae JC (1971) Quantitative measurement of starch in very small amounts of leaf tissue. Planta 96:101–108

  8. Neuffer MG, Jones L, Zuber MS (1968) The mutants of maize. Crop Sci Soc Am Publ

  9. Nelson N (1944) A photometric adaptation of the Somogyi method for the determination of glucose. J Biol Chem 153:375–380

  10. Ramesh SV (1983) The etched mutant of maize. Biochemical and ultrastructural studies on virescent seedlings. M. Phil thesis, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad, India

  11. Ramesh SV, Santa Kumari A, Reddy AR (1984) Photoacoustic and physiological studies on a maize mutant. A delay in leaf pigment synthesis in virescent seedlings. Biochem Int 9:121–128

  12. Sangeetha HG (1985) The etched mutant of maize. Studies on chlorophyll-protein complexes and amylase activity in germinating seeds and virescent seedlings. M. Phil thesis School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad, India

  13. Sangeetha HG, Ramesh SV, Jayaram Ch, Reddy AR (1986) Studies on chlorophyll and protein accumulation in thylakoids and chloroplast development in virescent seedlings of a maize mutant. Biochem Int 12:181–188

  14. Stadler LJ (1940) Gene list and linkage map of corn (maize). Maize Genet Coop Lett 14:26–27

  15. Work TS, Work E (1972) Visualization and interpretation of precipitates in gels. Laboratory techniques in biochemistry and molecular biology 1. North Holland, Amsterdam, pp 480–481

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to A. R. Reddy.

Additional information

Communicated by F. Salamini

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sangeetha, H.G., Reddy, A.R. The effect of the etched (et) mutation on the amylolytic enzyme activities in germinating kernels and seedlings of Zea mays . Theoret. Appl. Genetics 76, 381–384 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00265337

Download citation

Key words

  • Etched
  • Virescence
  • Starch
  • Amylolytic enzymes