β-1,3-glucanases are found in organisms as diverse as plants, animals, bacteria and fungi. In plants, such enzymes are not only associated with defense mechanisms against pathogens, but also play critical roles in physiological and developmental processes. Here we identified a new β-1,3-glucanase in maize seeds, and named it ZmGlucA. Sequence analysis revealed that ZmGlucA belongs to the class A of β-1,3-glucanase, a class related to defense and physiological processes in plants. mRNA and protein assays showed that zmGlucA is expressed exclusively in seeds, and it is differentially regulated during seed development. Additionally, zmGlucA expression is strongly induced in seeds of the mutant dek 827Kpro1, which is defective for embryo and endosperm development. Our data support the idea that ZmGlucA protein is relevant to seed development.
Keywords: β-1, 3-glucanase, defective kernel, dek, maize, seed, seed developmentβ-1, 3-glucanase, defective kernel, dek, maize, seed, seed development
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