The maize brown midrib6 (bm6) mutation encodes a functional GTP Cyclohydrolase1


Brown midrib mutations in maize (Zea mays L.) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) alter lignin composition and enhance cell wall digestibility. These mutations are prime candidates for silage breeding. Six brown midrib mutants are currently known, brown midrib1 (bm1) to brown midrib6 (bm6). The bm1 and bm3 mutations are being used commercially for silage. The underlying genes responsible for five of the six bm mutations in maize (bm1, bm2, bm3, bm4, and bm5) are known. Chen and co-workers (2012) characterized the bm6 mutation, demonstrating
that bm6 increases cell wall digestibility and physically mapped bm6 within a 180 kilobase region on chromosome 2. The present investigation utilized map-based cloning to identify the candidate gene responsible for the bm6 phenotype as GTP Cyclohydrolase1 (GCH1) and validated the candidate gene through reverse genetics. Orthologs of bm6 include at least one paralogous gene in maize on chromosome 10 and various homologs in other grasses and dicots. The discovery that GCH1 is  responsible for the maize bm6 phenotype suggests that GCH1 plays a role in the tetrahydrofolate biosynthetic process.


brown midrib6 (bm6), Map-based cloning, GTP Cyclohydrolase1, Silage

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Maydica - A journal devoted to maize and allied species

ISSN: 2279-8013