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Crop Biotech Update

Isoamylase 1 Affects Starch Production and Amylopectin Structure in Durum Wheat Endosperm

August 17, 2016

The lack of Isoamylase 1 (Isa1) activity in rice, maize, and barley affects starch composition in their endosperm. Francesco Sestili of the University of Tuscia in Italy and colleagues investigated the effect of this deficiency in durum wheat.

Researchers knocked-down Isa1 in durum wheat using RNA interference. The generated transgenic endosperms were then analyzed. The polysaccharide content of the endosperms was different from the wild type in several ways. There was a reduction in the starch content as well as a moderate enhancement of both phytoglycogen and β-glucan. Alterations were also found in the distribution of amylopectin chain length and amylopectin fine structure. The amylopectin present in the transgenic endosperms was also found to be readily hydrolyzable after treatment with hydrochloric acid.

The results of this study suggest that Isoamylase 1 plays a role in the synthesis and the determination of internal structure of amylopectin in durum wheat.

For more information, read the article in Plant Science.