The molecular mechanisms underlying cell wall digestibility in maize (Zea mays L.) have been studied in three sets of maize brown-midrib isogenic lines in the genetic background of inbreds 1332 (1332 and 1332 bm3), 5361 (5361 and 5361 bm3), and F2 (F2, F2 bm1, F2 bm2, and F2 bm3). Two complementary approaches, SSH (suppression subtractive hybridization) and microarray-based expression profiling, were used to isolate and identify candidate genes in isogenic lines for bm mutants. Metabolic pathway analysis revealed that transcriptional events caused by altering the expression of a single bm gene involve all metabolic and signaling pathways. 53 ESTs were differentially expressed in all three isogenic bm3 comparisons, whereas 32 ESTs were consistently differentially expressed in different bm isogenic lines in F2 background. About 70% ESTs isolated by SSH were not present on the unigene microarray, demonstrating the usefulness of the SSH procedure to identify genes related to cell wall digestibility. Together with lignin analysis by cellular UV-microspectrophotometry, expression profiling in isogenic bm lines proved to be useful to understand alterations at the sub-cellular and molecular level with respect to lignin composition. The down-regulation of COMT affected the expression of CCoAOMT genes and caused a reduced content both of G and S units in bm3 mutants.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2006
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