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Tocopherols (vitamin E) are lipophilic antioxidants synthesized by all plants and are particularly abundant in seeds. Despite cloning of the complete suite of tocopherol biosynthetic enzymes and successful engineering of the tocopherol content and composition of Arabidopsis thaliana leaves and seeds, the functions of tocopherols in plants have remained(More)
Arabidopsis thaliana has nine genes that constitute a family of putative carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases (CCDs). While five members of the family are believed to be involved in synthesis of the phytohormone abscisic acid, the functions of the other four enzymes are less clear. Recently two of the enzymes, CCD7/MAX3 and CCD8/MAX4, have been implicated in(More)
We measured the DeltaPsi and DeltapH components of the transthylakoid proton motive force (pmf) in light-adapted, intact tobacco leaves in response to moderate heat. The DeltaPsi causes an electrochromic shift (ECS) in carotenoid absorbance spectra. The light-dark difference spectrum has a peak at 518 nm and the two components of the pmf were separated by(More)
Expression of industrial enzymes in transgenic plants offers an alternative system to fungal fermentation for large-scale production. Very high levels of expression are required to make the enzymes cost-effective. We tested several parameters to determine the best method for achieving high levels of expression for a fungal laccase gene. Transgenic maize(More)
tie-dyed1 (tdy1) and sucrose export defective1 (sxd1) are recessive maize (Zea mays) mutants with nonclonal chlorotic leaf sectors that hyperaccumulate starch and soluble sugars. In addition, both mutants display similar growth-related defects such as reduced plant height and inflorescence development due to the retention of carbohydrates in leaves. As tdy1(More)
The natural diversity of plant metabolism has long been a source for human medicines. One group of plant-derived compounds, the monoterpene indole alkaloids (MIAs), includes well-documented therapeutic agents used in the treatment of cancer (vinblastine, vincristine, camptothecin), hypertension (reserpine, ajmalicine), malaria (quinine), and as analgesics(More)
Lutein and zeaxanthin are dihydroxy xanthophylls that are produced from their corresponding carotene precursors by the action of beta- and epsilon -ring carotenoid hydroxylases. Two genes that encode beta-ring hydroxylases (beta-hydroxylases 1 and 2) have been identified in the Arabidopsis genome and are highly active toward beta-rings but only weakly(More)
Experimental approaches targeting carotenoid biosynthetic enzymes have successfully increased the seed β-carotene content of crops. However, linkage analysis of seed carotenoids in Arabidopsis thaliana recombinant inbred populations showed that only 21% of quantitative trait loci, including those for β-carotene, encode carotenoid biosynthetic enzymes in(More)
Vitamin E is an essential nutrient for humans and is obtained primarily from food, especially oil, derived from the seed of plants. Genes encoding the committed steps in vitamin E synthesis in plants (VTE, loci 1-5) have been isolated and used for tocopherol pathway engineering with various degrees of success. As a complement to such approaches we have used(More)
Tocopherols and tocotrienols, collectively known as tocochromanols, are the major lipid-soluble antioxidants in maize (Zea mays L.) grain. Given that individual tocochromanols differ in their degree of vitamin E activity, variation for tocochromanol composition and content in grain from among diverse maize inbred lines has important nutritional and health(More)