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Two distinct waxy alleles impact the granule-bound starch synthase in sorghum

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The granule-bound starch synthase (GBSS) is the enzyme responsible for amylose synthesis in starch granules. Loss of GBSS activity results in starch granules containing mostly amylopectin and little or no amylose, a phenotype described as waxy. Previously, two phenotypic classes of waxy alleles were identified in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) characterized by the absence (waxy a ; wx a ) or presence (waxy b ; wx b ) of the GBSS protein in the endosperm. To characterize these alleles, we examined endosperm architecture using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), assayed GBSS enzymatic activities, and identified DNA lesions associated with the mutations in the GBSS (Sb10g002140) gene. wx a , the allele present in B Tx630 and R Tx2907, contained a large insertion in the third exon, which was consistent with the absence of the GBSS protein previously observed. wx b , the allele present in B 9307 and B TxARG1, contained a missense mutation that resulted in conversion of glutamine 268 to histidine in a conserved domain in starch synthases. In wx b , GBSS activity was less than 25% that of the non-waxy line B Wheatland, and GBSS activity was not detected in wx a . SEM showed that endosperm architecture was very similar in both wx a and wx b alleles, but altered in comparison to non-waxy lines R Tx430 and B Wheatland. Both alleles may have a range of potential applications in grain sorghum because of low amylose content in their starch and the presence or absence of the GBSS protein. PCR based markers were developed for both the wx a and the wx b alleles to aid in molecular breeding of low amylose sorghum.
Sattler, Scott E. , Singh, Jaswinder , Haas, Eric J. , Guo, Lining , Sarath, Gautam , Pedersen, Jeffrey F.
Includes references
Molecular breeding 2009 Nov., v. 24, no. 4
Springer Netherlands
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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