Grain quality-related traits in maize: gene identification and exploitation


Maize grain is a relevant source of food, feed, and industrial row materials. Developing plants with improved grain structure and quality traits involves the ability to use existing genetic variation and to identify and manipulate economically important genes. This will open new avenues for designing novel variation in kernel size, structures, and composition and will provide the basis for the development of the next generation of specialty maize. This paper provides an overview of current knowledge on the identification and exploitation of genes affecting the development, structure, and composition of the maize kernel with particular emphasis on pathways relevant to endosperm growth and development, and biosynthesis of storage proteins, starch, lipids, and carotenoids. The potential that the new technologies of cell and molecular biology will provide for the creation of new variation or novel compounds in the future are indicated and discussed.


kernel development, endosperm mutants, storage products syntheses, genetic variability, breeding strategies

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Maydica - A journal devoted to maize and allied species

ISSN: 2279-8013