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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression and nucleotide sequence of an INS (3) P1 synthase gene associated with low-phytate kernels in maize (Zea mays L.).

Most of the phosphorus ( P) in maize (Zea mays L.) kernels is in the form of phytic acid. A low phytic acid (lpa) maize mutant, lpa1-1, displays levels reduced by 66%. A goal of genetic breeding is development of low phytic acid feedstocks to improve P nutrition of nonruminant animals and reduce the adverse environmental impacts of excess P in manure. The genetic basis of the lpa1-1 mutation is not known, but previous genetic mapping has shown both the mutant phenotype and the Ins (3) P(1) synthase (MIPS) gene, which encodes the first enzyme, myo-inositol phosphate synthase, in the phytic acid biosynthetic pathway, map to the same chromosomal region in maize. Research was conducted to determine the expression of the MIPS gene in lpa1-1 and wild-type kernels with similar genetic backgrounds and to ascertain if variation in the MIPS coding sequence could be inferred to be the basis of the mutation. MIPS enzyme activity determined by TLC was reduced 2-3-fold in mutant kernels. RT-PCR-based experiments using primers specific for the 1S-MIPS sequence indicated gene expression was reduced 50-60% in the mutant. Sequence analysis of the MIPS genomic sequence revealed 10 exons and 9 introns that are identical in both mutant and wild-type developing kernels. These findings support an association between reduced MIPS gene activity and low phytic acid content, but additional research should examine the promoter, the 5'UTR, or transcriptional controlling elements of the MIPS gene to ascertain the possible presence of a genetic lesion in those regions.[1]


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