Probably the most essential component of cells of corn, and all other living things, are submicroscopic organelles composed of RNA and proteins. These are the site of linking together amino acids to form unique structures of proteins essential for other metabolic activity in the cells and whole organism. DNA in the nucleus of the cell is make of the composition of the plant genetics. This DNA of a gene is a long string of sets of three nucleotides. When a gene is ‘turned on’ in the nucleus, the sequence of the nucleotides is translated into a string of RNA. This is now called messenger RNA (mRNA) because it migrates through the nuclear membrane into the cell cytoplasm via the string of membranes called endoplasmic reticulum to a ribosome.
As the mRNA moves through the ribosomes, each code attracts an amino acid, attaching them to the next amino acid, ultimately constructing a specific protein to be released into the cytoplasm. The construct and sequence of the amino acid become important to the protein function of being an enzyme in other metabolic activity or participant in body construction.
All genetic inheritance is dependent on these many tiny components of the cells. Considering that corn has more than 30,000 gene, each ultimately coding for a different protein, as interpreted by ribosomes it is not surprising that these are important components of all living cells in any plant or animal. And there remains much more to learn about cell function with the research to be done by future young scientists.
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.