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Jaiswal lab publication on maize metabolic network.

Source: Gramene News Blog

Maize is also called by the names maíz (Spanish), indian corn, makka/bhutta (Hindi). In the year 2011, it was the second most produced commodity (883,460,240 MT) in the world after sugarcane (1,794,359,190 MT) and was followed by rice/paddy (722,760,295 MT), wheat (704,080,283) and potato (374,382,274 MT; source: FAOSTAT 2013). Maize contributes substantially to the calorie diets of humans and cattle and serves as a staple ingredient of various commodity products. Maize is also one of the founding plant models used in various genomics and genetics studies around the world. In 2009, the maize genome sequencing project released the draft genome of the maize inbred line B73 which opened up opportunities for research labs to study the function of genes and gene products encoded by the maize genome in order to understand the development and biochemistry of the maize plant. Such studies can be applied further to find genes associated with the regulation and biosynthesis of compounds such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats and vitamins that establish maize as a major source of nutrition, calorie and commodity feedstock renewable energy. As a first step, the Gramene and MaizeGDB database project teams jointly developed a metabolic network of high confidence protein coding maize genes that are essentially involved in the biosynthesis and degradation of various types of carbohydrates, lipids (fats), proteins, amino acids, plant growth hormones and other secondary metabolic products such as vitamins. The report on the maize metabolic gene network and the free online database called MaizeCyc, was published recently in the journal The Plant Genome[1]. The network contains information on about 390 pathways, 9000 genes acting as enzymes and transporters and 1450 compounds. The publication provides (1) insights into network development, (2) brief instructions on how to use the database, (3) an analysis of the maize genes expressed in leaf, root, anther, embryo and endosperm with reference to the metabolic pathways (e.g., the biosynthetic pathways of chlorophyll, lignin (phenylpropanoid), anthocyanin and beta-carotene (provitamin A)).

1Publication citation:
Maize Metabolic Network Construction and Transcriptome Analysis. Marcela K. Monaco, Taner Z. Sen, Palitha D. Dharmawardhana, Liya Ren, Mary Schaeffer, Sushma Naithani, Vindhya Amarasinghe, Jim Thomason, Lisa Harper, Jack Gardiner, Ethalinda K.S. Cannon, Carolyn J. Lawrence, Doreen Ware, and Pankaj Jaiswal. The Plant Genome. Vol. 6 No. 1, doi: 10.3835/plantgenome2012.09.0025; Posted online 23 Jan. 2013 (View online )

MaizeCyc Database Access:
Free online access and download options are available from following online resources:
MaizeGDB database
Gramene database

This work was supported by the NSF Plant Genome Research Resource grant award IOS:0703908 (Gramene: A Platform for Comparative Plant Genomics), the USDA-ARS, and the National Corn Growers Association (The Maize Genetics and Genomics Database).