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The intergenic region of the maize defensin-like protein genes Def1 and Def2 functions as an embryo-specific asymmetric bidirectional promoter

Bidirectional promoters are identified in diverse organisms with widely varied genome sizes, including bacteria, yeast, mammals, and plants. However, little research has been done on any individual endogenous bidirectional promoter from plants. Here, we describe a promoter positioned in the intergenic region of two defensin-like protein genes, Def1 and Def2 in maize (Zea mays). We ...

Analysis of weighted co-regulatory networks in maize provides insights into new genes and regulatory mechanisms related to inositol phosphate metabolism

Background D-myo-inositol phosphates (IPs) are a series of phosphate esters. Myo-inositol hexakisphosphate (phytic acid, IP6) is the most abundant IP and has negative effects on animal and human nutrition. IPs play important roles in plant development, stress responses, and signal transduction. However, the metabolic pathways and possible regulatory mechanisms of IPs in maize are ...

Overexpression of ZmIRT1 and ZmZIP3 Enhances Iron and Zinc Accumulation in Transgenic Arabidopsis

Iron and zinc are important micronutrients for both the growth and nutrient availability of crop plants, and their absorption is tightly controlled by a metal uptake system. Zinc-regulated transporters, iron-regulated transporter-like proteins (ZIP), is considered an essential metal transporter for the acquisition of Fe and Zn in graminaceous plants. Several ZIPs have been ...

Production of a Highly Protease-Resistant Fungal α-Galactosidase in Transgenic Maize Seeds for Simplified Feed Processing

Raffinose-family oligosaccharide (RFO) in soybeans is one of the major anti-nutritional factors for poultry and livestocks. α-Galactosidase is commonly supplemented into the animal feed to hydrolyze α-1,6-galactosidic bonds on the RFOs. To simplify the feed processing, a protease-resistant α-galactosidase encoding gene from Gibberella sp. strain F75, aga-F75, was modified by codon ...

A Maize Jasmonate Zim-Domain Protein, ZmJAZ14, Associates with the JA, ABA, and GA Signaling Pathways in Transgenic Arabidopsis

Jasmonate (JA) is an important signaling molecule involved in the regulation of many physiological and stress-related processes in plants. Jasmonate ZIM-domain (JAZ) proteins have been implicated in regulating JA signaling pathways and the cross talk between various phytohormones. Maize is not only an important cereal crop, but also a model plant for monocotyledon studies. Although ...

Identification and functional characterization of bidirectional gene pairs and their intergenic regions in maize

Background Bidirectional gene pairs exist as a specific form of gene organization in microorganisms and mammals as well as in model plant species, such as Arabidopsis and rice. Little is known about bidirectional gene pairs in maize, which has a large genome and is one of the most important grain crops. Results We conducted a genome-wide search in maize using genome sequencing ...

Identification and characterization of the zinc-regulated transporters, iron-regulated transporter-like protein (ZIP) gene family in maize

Background Zinc (Zn) and iron (Fe) are essential micronutrients for plant growth and development, their deficiency or excess severely impaired physiological and biochemical reactions of plants. Therefore, a tightly controlled zinc and iron uptake and homeostasis network has been evolved in plants. The Zinc-regulated transporters, Iron-regulated transporter-like Proteins (ZIP) are ...

Genome-wide identification, classification and expression profiling of nicotianamine synthase (NAS) gene family in maize

Background Nicotianamine (NA), a ubiquitous molecule in plants, is an important metal ion chelator and the main precursor for phytosiderophores biosynthesis. Considerable progress has been achieved in cloning and characterizing the functions of nicotianamine synthase (NAS) in plants including barley, Arabidopsis and rice. Maize is not only an important cereal crop, but also a model ...

Overexpression of an Acidic Endo-β-1,3-1,4-glucanase in Transgenic Maize Seed for Direct Utilization in Animal Feed

Background Incorporation of exogenous glucanase into animal feed is common practice to remove glucan, one of the anti-nutritional factors, for efficient nutrition absorption. The acidic endo-β-1,3-1,4-glucanase (Bgl7A) from Bispora sp. MEY-1 has excellent properties and represents a potential enzyme supplement to animal feed. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we successfully ...

Overexpression of a Fungal β-Mannanase from Bispora sp. MEY-1 in Maize Seeds and Enzyme Characterization

Background Mannans and heteromannans are widespread in plants cell walls and are well-known as anti-nutritional factors in animal feed. To remove these factors, it is common practice to incorporate endo-β-mannanase into feed for efficient nutrition absorption. The objective of this study was to overexpress a β-mannanase gene directly in maize, the main ingredient of animal feed, to ...