Genetika 2010 Volume 42, Issue 1, Pages: 23-56
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Gene discovery for improvement of kernel quality-related traits in maize

Motto M., Balconi C., Hartings H., Rossi V.

Developing maize plants with improved kernel quality traits involves the ability to use existing genetic variation and to identify and manipulate commercially important genes. This will open avenues for designing novel variation in grain composition and will provide the basis for the development of the next generation of specialty maize. This paper provides an overview of current knowledge on the identification and exploitation of genes affecting the composition, development, and structure of the maize kernel with particular emphasis on pathways relevant to endosperm growth and development, differentiation of starch-filled cells, and biosynthesis of starches, storage proteins, lipids, and carotenoids. The potential that the new technologies of cell and molecular biology will provide for the creation of new variation in the future are also indicated and discussed.

Keywords: endosperm development, endosperm mutants, starch and protein synthesis, genetic variability, gene discovery

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