Identification of Mutator Insertional Mutants of Starch-Branching Enzyme 2a in Corn
Starch-branching enzymes (SBE) break the α-1,4 linkage of starch, re-attaching the chain to a glucan chain by an α-1,6 bond, altering starch structure. SBEs also facilitate starch accumulation by increasing the number of non-reducing ends on the growing chain. In maize (Zea mays), three isoforms of SBE have been identified. To examine the function of the SBEIIa isoform, a reverse genetics polymerase chain reaction-based screen was used to identify a mutant line segregating for a Mutator transposon withinSbe2a. To locate the insertion within the second exon ofSbe2a, the genomic sequence of Sbe2acontaining the promoter and 5′ end was isolated and sequenced. Plants homozygous for sbe2a::Mu have undetectable levels of Sbe2a transcripts and SBEIIa in their leaves. Characterization of leaf starch from sbe2a::Mumutants shows reduced branching similar to yet more extreme than that seen in kernels lacking SBEIIb activity. Characterization of endosperm starch from sbe2a::Mu mutants shows branching that is indistinguishable from wild-type controls. These mutant plants have a visible phenotype resembling accelerated senescence, which was correlated with the Mutator insertion withinSbe2a. This correlation suggests a specific role for SBEIIa in leaves, which may be necessary for normal plant development.
PubMed ID (PMID)