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Genetic variability of the phloem sap metabolite content of maize (Zea mays L.) during the kernel-filling period

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  • Zhazira Yesbergenova-Cuny
  • Sylvie Dinant
  • Marie-Laure Martin-Magniette
  • Isabelle Quilleré
  • Patrick Armengaud
  • Priscilla Monfalet
  • Peter John Lea
  • Bertrand Hirel
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Plant Science
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)347-357
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date27/08/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Using a metabolomic approach, we have quantified the metabolite composition of the phloem sap exudate of seventeen European and American lines of maize that had been previously classified into five main groups on the basis of molecular marker polymorphisms. In addition to sucrose, glutamate and aspartate, which are abundant in the phloem sap of many plant species, large quantities of aconitate and alanine were also found in the phloem sap exudates of maize. Genetic variability of the phloem sap composition was observed in the different maize lines, although there was no obvious relationship between the phloem sap composition and the five previously classified groups. However, following hierarchical clustering analysis there was a clear relationship between two of the subclusters of lines defined on the basis of the composition of the phloem sap exudate and the earliness of silking date. A comparison between the metabolite contents of the ear leaves and the phloem sap exudates of each genotype, revealed that the relative content of most of the carbon- and nitrogen-containing metabolites was similar. Correlation studies performed between the metabolite content of the phloem sap exudates and yield-related traits also revealed that for some carbohydrates such as arabitol and sucrose there was a negative or positive correlation with kernel yield and kernel weight respectively. A posititive correlation was also found between kernel number and soluble histidine.