Leaf sheath cuticular waxes on bloomless and sparse-bloom mutants of Sorghum bicolor

Phytochemistry. 2000 Jul;54(6):577-84. doi: 10.1016/s0031-9422(00)00153-9.


Leaf sheath cuticular waxes on wild-type Sorghum bicolor were approximately 96% free fatty acids, with the C28 and C30 acids being 77 and 20% of these acids, respectively. Twelve mutants with markedly reduced wax load were characterized for chemical composition. In all of the 12 mutants, reduction in the amount of C28 and C30 acids accounted for essentially all of the reduction in total wax load relative to wildtype. The bm2 mutation caused a 99% reduction in total waxes. The bm4, bm5, bm6, bm7 and h10 mutations caused more than 91% reduction in total waxes, whereas the remaining six mutants, bm9, bm11, h7, h11, h12 and h13, caused between 35 and 78% reduction in total wax load. Relative to wild-type, bm4 caused a large increase in the absolute amount of C22, C24 and C26 acids, and reduction in the C28 and longer acids, suggesting that bm4 may suppress elongation of C26, acyl-CoA primarily. The h10 mutation increased the absolute amounts of the longest chain length acids, but reduced shorter acids, suggesting that h10 may suppress termination of acyl-CoA elongation. The bm6, bm9, bm11, h7, h11, h12 and h13 mutations increased the relative amounts, but not absolute amounts, of longer chain acids. Based on chemical composition alone, it is still uncertain which genes and their products were altered by these mutations. Nevertheless, these Sorghum cuticular wax mutants should provide a valuable resource for future studies to elucidate gene involvement in the biosynthesis of cuticular waxes, in particular, the very-long-chain fatty acids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetyl Coenzyme A / metabolism
  • Cell Wall / chemistry
  • Cell Wall / ultrastructure
  • Edible Grain / chemistry*
  • Edible Grain / genetics
  • Edible Grain / ultrastructure
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Fatty Acids / chemistry*
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Genotype
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Mutation
  • Plant Epidermis / chemistry*
  • Plant Epidermis / ultrastructure
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Leaves / ultrastructure
  • Waxes / analysis
  • Waxes / chemistry*


  • Fatty Acids
  • Waxes
  • Acetyl Coenzyme A