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Type: Journal article
Title: Characterization of factors underlying the metabolic shifts in developing kernels of colored maize
Author: Hu, C.
Li, Q.
Shen, X.
Quan, S.
Lin, H.
Duan, L.
Wang, Y.
Luo, Q.
Qu, G.
Han, Q.
Lu, Y.
Zhang, D.
Yuan, Z.
Shi, J.
Citation: Scientific Reports, 2016; 6(1):35479-1-35479-12
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 2045-2322
Statement of
Chaoyang Hu, Quanlin Li, Xuefang Shen, Sheng Quan, Hong Lin, Lei Duan, Yifa Wang, Qian Luo, Guorun Qu, Qing Han, Yuan Lu, Dabing Zhang, Zheng Yuan and Jianxin Shi
Abstract: Elucidation of the metabolic pathways determining pigmentation and their underlying regulatory mechanisms in maize kernels is of high importance in attempts to improve the nutritional composition of our food. In this study, we compared dynamics in the transcriptome and metabolome between colored SW93 and white SW48 by integrating RNA-Seq and non-targeted metabolomics. Our data revealed that expression of enzyme coding genes and levels of primary metabolites decreased gradually from 11 to 21 DAP, corresponding well with the physiological change of developing maize kernels from differentiation through reserve accumulation to maturation, which was cultivar independent. A remarkable up-regulation of anthocyanin and phlobaphene pathway distinguished SW93 from SW48, in which anthocyanin regulating transcriptional factors (R1 and C1), enzyme encoding genes involved in both pathways and corresponding metabolic intermediates were up-regulated concurrently in SW93 but not in SW48. The shift from the shikimate pathway of primary metabolism to the flavonoid pathway of secondary metabolism, however, appears to be under posttranscriptional regulation. This study revealed the link between primary metabolism and kernel coloration, which facilitate further study to explore fundamental questions regarding the evolution of seed metabolic capabilities as well as their potential applications in maize improvement regarding both staple and functional foods.
Keywords: Zea mays
Plant Proteins
Transcription Factors
Protein Processing, Post-Translational
Rights: © The Author(s) 2016. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
DOI: 10.1038/srep35479
Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications
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