Agronomy and Horticulture, Department of


Changes in the Activities of Several Enzymes during Germination and Seedling Development in Corn (Zea mays L.)

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Published in Plant Physiology 30:1 (1955), pp. 74–78. Copyright © 1955 American Society of Plant Biologists. Also online in PubMed Central @


The literature contains numerous references (e.g., Bonner (1), Van Fleet (18), Weier and Stocking (19)) to the occurrence of catalase, cytochrome oxidase, peroxidase, phosphatase, and polyphenolase activities in higher plants, and an occasional report has appeared dealing with certain of these activities in corn. Thus there have been reports of cytochrome oxidase (4, 9), peroxidase (2), catalase (2, 3, 13), and phosphatase (8) activities in preparations- of various corn tissues. In most cases, however, only one stage of development has been considered. The experiments reported here were undertaken when, in connection with other studies in progress at this laboratory, it became necessary to obtain estimates of the five types of activity in preparations of corn embryos, etiolated shoots, and green seedlings. The aim of these experiments was threefold: to adapt published assay methods for use with preparations of corn tissue, to estimate the activities of preparations from corn at the various stages of development listed above, and to study the fractionation of activities effected by high-speed centrifugation.