The Source for Glucan Bio Info

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Mutants (see Maize Genome Database)

STARCH: New starch functionalities have been identified in naturally occurring mutants. Shown below is an ear of corn segregating for the sugary1 mutation and to the right an ear segregating for the waxy mutation (stained with iodine to reveal red (wx) staining starch versus blue (normal).









In corn there is a great diversity of grain mutations available. Most notably these mutants include waxy, amylose extender, sugary, brittle, shrunken, floury, dull. Even greater diversity can be created by making double mutants, and by making crosses between mutants (intermutants). The most widely available mutants are waxy (low amylose) and amylose extender (high amylose). Also in sweet corn are the mutants shrunken2 and sugary. Similar mutants exist in other plants, particularly peas, barley and rice.

· Single Mutants (waxy, amylose, sugary) provide some functional improvements.

· Double Mutants (waxy/amylose, waxy/dull) provide new functionalities, poor yield, poor germination.

· Gene-Dose of Single Mutants (aeae+ or ae++) do not create new starch structure/functionality.

· Intermutants (wxwx+/++ae) provide novel functionality, and high starch yield.



LIGNOCELLULOSE: Mutants of the lignocellulosic pathway include the Brown Midrib (bm1, bm2, bm3, etc.) mutants. Shown to the right with the characteristic brown coloration of the midrib region of the leaves is the mutant bm3.


Other mutants affecting cell wall composition include brittle-stalk (for example bk2) which is believed to a member of the Cobra gene family.

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