Chromosomal DNA in corn cells is located in the nucleus of the cell. Within the 10 chromosomes of corn are a total of about 40000 genes. Each gene consists of a specific string of nucleotides that ultimately gets translated into a string of specific amino acids resulting in specific functionality of the protein. Translation of a small portion of DNA in the cell nucleus results in specific coded RNA designated as mRNA. This RNA molecule must travel to a ribosome in the cytoplasm outside of the nucleus to produce the protein that it codes.
Transport of the mRNA through the nuclear membrane requires a special transport protein that attaches to the mRNA. This interaction allows movement through pores in the two layers of nuclear membrane into the cytoplasm of the cell. Multiple ribosomes are located on the strings of endoplasmic reticulum. When the mRNA is attached to the ribosome, another form of RNA called translation RNA (tRNA) attaches to one of the 20 amino acids as called for by the nucleoside code. This process occurring in the ribosome results in specific amino acids ordered by the nucleoside code.
While we appreciate the performance of a corn hybrid plant as we observe them in the field, it is amazing to think that in all those cells, individually only visible by microscope, that the real work is going continuously in the thousands of cells of the plant.
About Corn Journal
The purpose of this blog is to share perspectives of the biology of corn, its seed and diseases in a mix of technical and not so technical terms with all who are interested in this major crop. With more technical references to any of the topics easily available on the web with a search of key words, the blog will rarely cite references but will attempt to be accurate. Comments are welcome but will be screened before publishing. Comments and questions directed to the author by emails are encouraged.