Crop Biotech Update

Gene for Amylose Synthesis Identified

March 11, 2015

Starch is one of the important products in photosynthesis. It is also used in textile and paper industries. Despite its various uses, its formation is yet to be understood. Hence, a group of researchers from ETH Zurich conducted a study to understand how starch is produced.

The researchers examined the photosynthesis process, specifically the amylose formation taking place in Arabidopsis thaliana. The only known enzyme necessary for amylose formation is granular-bound starch synthase (GBSS).  

Their findings have led to the discovery of  Protein Targeting to Starch (PTST), a vital molecule in amylose synthesis. Further tests on mutant A. thaliana without PTST resulted in the absence of amylase while the GBSS was hardly detectable. This result suggests that PTST functions in transporting GBSS to the starch granules and makes GBSS more stable.

Details of the study can be read at ETH Zurich website.