Expression and regulation of phytoene desaturase during maize seed development
AdvisorOishi, Karen K.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractAn essential component of development is the accumulation of specific metabolites in a temporal and tissue-specific manner. The growth regulator abscisic acid (ABA), which accumulates at a specific time during seed development, is required for seed maturation and prevents the premature developmental switch from dormancy to germination ABA accumulates differently in two tissues of the seed; levels in the embryo are several-fold higher than in the endosperm and the temporal accumulation of ABA is also different between these tissues. To begin to understand how ABA accumulation is regulated during seed development, the regulation of ABA biosynthesis was investigated. The approach taken was to examine the expression of the biosynthetic enzyme, phytoene desaturase (PDS), which catalyzes a regulated step in ABA synthesis in several other organisms (Bramley, 1985, Sandmann et al., 1989, Hugueney et al., 1992 and Giuliano et al., 1993). Unlike ABA accumulation, PDS transcript and protein levels were higher in the endosperm than in the embryo. The spatial difference in PDS levels did correlate with levels of the pathway intermediate, beta-carotene, suggesting that PDS may control the synthesis of ABA precursors while subsequent enzymes may regulate ABA accumulation. The temporal expression of Pds was also unrelated to ABA accumulation. In the endosperm, transcript levels were initially high and declined during desiccation while protein levels remained high throughout development. In the embryo, transcript levels were low and constant while protein levels declined. There are several maize mutants (viviparous mutants) disrupted in ABA biosynthesis, resulting in decreased levels of ABA and premature germination. Analysis of the Pds allele and transcript in the viviparous-5 mutant showed that the gene contains multiple insertions and deletions, giving rise to a larger transcript. In addition, the 55 kDa PDS protein was not detected in the vp5 mutant by immunoblot analysis, indicating that the vp5 phenotype results from a mutation at the PDS locus. To determine whether the wild type protein encoded by the ABA mutant, vp2, or the pathway intermediate, lycopene, regulate PDS, transcript and protein levels were compared in wild type and mutant (vp2 and vp7, respectively) seeds. The levels of PDS were not significantly different in vp2 or vp7 wild type and mutant seeds, suggesting that neither the VP2 protein nor lycopene regulate PDS at the steady-state transcript or protein level.
Degree ProgramGraduate College