ZmEsr, a novel endosperm-specific gene expressed in a restricted region around the maize embryo

Plant J. 1997 Jul;12(1):235-46. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-313x.1997.12010235.x.


A novel endosperm-specific gene named Esr (embryo surrounding region) has been isolated by differential display between early developmental stages of maize endosperms and embryos. It is expressed in a restricted region of the endosperm, surrounding the entire embryo at early stages (4 to 7 days after pollination, DAP) and ever-decreasing parts of the suspensor at subsequent stages. The expression starts at 4 DAP and is maintained until at least 28 DAP. A minimum of three Esr genes are present in the maize genome and at least two of them map to the short arm of chromosome 1 at position 56. The Esr genes contain no introns and show no significant nucleotide or amino acid sequence homologies to sequences in the databases. The open reading frames encode basic proteins of 14 kDa with presumptive signal peptides at their N-terminal followed by a hypervariable and a conserved region. The gene product may play a role in the nutrition of the developing embryo or in the establishment of a physical barrier between embryo and endosperm.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Consensus Sequence
  • DNA Primers
  • Fertilization
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Genes, Plant
  • Introns
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Plant Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Protein Sorting Signals / biosynthesis
  • Protein Sorting Signals / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Seeds / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Zea mays / genetics
  • Zea mays / physiology*


  • DNA Primers
  • Esr protein, Zea mays
  • Plant Proteins
  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • Recombinant Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X98495
  • GENBANK/X98496
  • GENBANK/X98497
  • GENBANK/X98498
  • GENBANK/X98499
  • GENBANK/X99968
  • GENBANK/X99969
  • GENBANK/X99970