Maize opaque mutants are no longer so opaque

Shanshan Zhang, Junpeng Zhan, Ramin Yadegari

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The endosperm of angiosperms is a zygotic seed organ that stores nutrient reserves to support embryogenesis and seed germination. Cereal endosperm is also a major source of human calories and an industrial feedstock. Maize opaque endosperm mutants commonly exhibit opaque, floury kernels, along with other abnormal seed and/or non-seed phenotypes. The opaque endosperm phenotype is sometimes accompanied by a soft kernel texture and increased nutritional quality, including a higher lysine content, which are valuable agronomic traits that have drawn attention of maize breeders. Recently, an increasing number of genes that underlie opaque mutants have been cloned, and their characterization has begun to shed light on the molecular basis of the opaque endosperm phenotype. These mutants are categorized by disruption of genes encoding zein or non-zein proteins localized to protein bodies, enzymes involved in endosperm metabolic processes, or transcriptional regulatory proteins associated with endosperm storage programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-326
Number of pages8
JournalPlant Reproduction
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Endosperm
  • Gene regulatory network
  • Maize
  • Opaque
  • Seed storage proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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