Larkins to deliver Biotechnology-Life Sciences Seminar Series talk Sept. 5

Brian Larkins
Brian Larkins

“Maize Endosperm: A System to Investigate Complex Biological Processes,” will be presented by Brian A. Larkins from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A reception will be held at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 5. The event is open to the public.

Maize is becoming the most important cereal crop in the world, yet much remains to be learned about how its grain develops and the factors influencing its nutritional value. The opaque2 (o2) mutation improves its protein quality, but the soft, starchy texture of the grain negatively impacts its agronomic value and food making characteristics. Plant breeders developed so-called modified o2 mutants that have the features of a normal kernel, while maintaining the high lysine trait of o2. Creating quality protein maize, or QPM, is technically challenging, because it requires selection for multiple, unlinked genetic loci, o2 modifiers (mo2), influencing kernel texture and lysine content.

To better understand the genetic and biochemical basis of these traits, we have characterized mutations that create a starchy endosperm phenotype, and we mapped several major mo2 QTLs to chromosomes 1, 7 and 9. In other research, we are investigating how the way in which the endosperm forms influences the yield of starch and protein in the grain.

The seminar begins at 4 p.m., preceded by a reception at 3:30 p.m. The seminar is free and open to the public. The complete schedule of seminars may be found at

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