2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

Copy Number Variation (CNV) of Genes Involved in Carotenoid Biosynthesis in Maize
Lauren Choate* and Eric Butler
Dr. Brent Buckner, Faculty Mentor

Carotenoids are yellow-orange pigments that protect chlorophyll from photooxidation in leaf tissue and accumulate in both the embryo and endosperm of the maize kernel. Some carotenoids have pro-vitamin A activity, which is essential for prevention of blindness and proper immune function. We have used qPCR to determine gene copy number relative to B73 for four carotenoid biosynthetic genes: Geranyl-geranyl diphosphate synthase 1 (Ggpps1), phytoene synthase 1 (Psy1), lycopene β-cyclase (Lcyβ), and Lycopene ε-cyclase (Lcyε). The expression and enzymatic activity of GGPPS1 and PSY1 are important for regulating the flow of precursors into the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway. The two lycopene cyclases function at a branch point in the carotenoid pathway leading to either β or α carotene, resulting in differing amounts of pro-vitamin carotenoids present. Copy number was determined for nine diverse maize inbred lines. We find that Psy1 and Ggpps1 exhibited the greatest degree of CNV among the lines investigated.

Keywords: Copy Number Variation, Carotenoid Biosynthetic Pathway, Vitamin A

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 200-4
Location: Georgian Room - SUB
Time: 3:30

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