Temporal patterns of gene expression in developing maize endosperm identified through transcriptome sequencing

Guosheng Li, Dongfang Wang, Ruolin Yang, Kyle Logan, Hao Chen, Shanshan Zhang, Megan I. Skaggs, Alan Lloyd, William J. Burnett, John D. Laurie, Brenda G. Hunter, Joanne M. Dannenhoffer, Brian A. Larkins, Gary N. Drews, Xiangfeng Wang, Ramin Yadegari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Endosperm is a filial structure resulting from a second fertilization event in angiosperms. As an absorptive storage organ, endosperm plays an essential role in support of embryo development and seedling germination. The accumulation of carbohydrate and protein storage products in cereal endosperm provides humanity with a major portion of its food, feed, and renewable resources. Little is known regarding the regulatory gene networks controlling endosperm proliferation and differentiation. As a first step toward understanding these networks, we profiled all mRNAs in the maize kernel and endosperm at eight successive stages during the first 12 d after pollination. Analysis of these gene sets identified temporal programs of gene expression, including hundreds of transcription-factor genes. We found a close correlation of the sequentially expressed gene sets with distinct cellular and metabolic programs in distinct compartments of the developing endosperm. The results constitute a preliminary atlas of spatiotemporal patterns of endosperm gene expression in support of future efforts for understanding the underlying mechanisms that control seed yield and quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7582-7587
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 27 2014


  • MRNA localization
  • Time series

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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