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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2780;

Evaluation of Biosynthesis, Accumulation and Antioxidant Activityof Vitamin E in Sweet Corn (Zea mays L.) during Kernel Development

School of Food Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou510641, China
Crop Research Institute, Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China
Key Laboratory of Crops Genetics Improvement of Guangdong Province, Guangzhou 510640, China
Department of Food Science, Stocking Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, NY 14853, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 9 December 2017 / Accepted: 11 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Transformations of Natural Products)
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Sweet corn kernels were used in this research to study the dynamics of vitamin E, by evaluatingthe expression levels of genes involved in vitamin E synthesis, the accumulation of vitamin E, and the antioxidant activity during the different stage of kernel development. Results showed that expression levels of ZmHPT and ZmTC genes increased, whereas ZmTMT gene dramatically decreased during kernel development. The contents of all the types of vitamin E in sweet corn had a significant upward increase during kernel development, and reached the highest level at 30 days after pollination (DAP). Amongst the eight isomers of vitamin E, the content of γ-tocotrienol was the highest, and increased by 14.9 folds, followed by α-tocopherolwith an increase of 22 folds, and thecontents of isomers γ-tocopherol, α-tocotrienol, δ-tocopherol,δ-tocotrienol, and β-tocopherol were also followed during kernel development. The antioxidant activity of sweet corn during kernel development was increased, and was up to 101.8 ± 22.3 μmol of α-tocopherol equivlent/100 g in fresh weight (FW) at 30 DAP. There was a positive correlation between vitamin E contents and antioxidant activity in sweet corn during the kernel development, and a negative correlation between the expressions of ZmTMT gene and vitamin E contents. These results revealed the relations amongst the content of vitamin E isomers and the gene expression, vitamin E accumulation, and antioxidant activity. The study can provide a harvesting strategy for vitamin E bio-fortification in sweet corn. View Full-Text
Keywords: sweet corn; vitamin E; gene expression; antioxidant activity; kernel development sweet corn; vitamin E; gene expression; antioxidant activity; kernel development

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Xie, L.; Yu, Y.; Mao, J.; Liu, H.; Hu, J.G.; Li, T.; Guo, X.; Liu, R.H. Evaluation of Biosynthesis, Accumulation and Antioxidant Activityof Vitamin E in Sweet Corn (Zea mays L.) during Kernel Development. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2780.

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