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Biochemical composition of maize (Zea mays L.) pollen

III. Effects of allele X storage interactions at the waxy(wx), sugary (su 1) and shrunken (sh 2) loci on the amino acid content


Pollen grains containing either the Wx, wx, Su 1, su 1, Sh 2 or sh 2 alleles were stored at 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 days at 2 °C. After each storage period, a portion of pollen from each genotype was analyzed for free amino acid content. Over all genotypes, storage significantly altered the content of all 16 amino acids measured. With increasing storage, a relatively consistent increase in aspartic acid, isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine, ethanolanine, α aminobutyric acid, NH3 and lysine was found. A relatively consistent decrease in glutamic acid, proline, glycine and alanine occurred with increasing storage. No consistent response to storage was obtained with threonine-serine, valine, histidine and the unknown. Apparently, storage or stage of viability loss has a pronounced effect on amino acid metabolism in maize pollen grains. The experiment was designed so that comparisons free of genetic background effects could be made between alleles at each locus. Significant allele X storage interactions at each locus were found as follows: at the waxy locus, aspartic acid, glycine, alanine and ethanolanine; at the sugary locus, aspartic acid, alanine, ethanolanine and α aminobutyric acid; and at the shrunken locus, aspartic acid, alanine, valine, leucine and ethanolanine. Amino acid metabolism is apparently influenced by the action of the alleles at these loci. The differences between the loci in the amino acids affected indicate the different areas of amino acid metabolism are influenced by each locus.

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Journal Series Paper No. 4425, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.

Communicated by H. F. Linskens

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Linskens, H.F., Peahler, P.L. Biochemical composition of maize (Zea mays L.) pollen. Theoret. Appl. Genetics 43, 49–53 (1973).

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  • Alanine
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Valine
  • Aspartic Acid
  • Free Amino Acid