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Nat Biotechnol. 2001 Feb;19(2):162-6.

Expression of wheat puroindoline genes in transgenic rice enhances grain softness.

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  • 1Department of Plant Sciences, Agricultural BioScience Facility, Montana State University, P.O. Box 173150, Bozeman, MT 59717-3150, USA.


The puroindoline genes (pinA and pinB) are believed to play critical roles in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grain texture. Mutations in either gene are associated with hard wheat. No direct evidence exists for the ability of puroindolines to modify cereal grain texture. Interestingly, puroindolines appear to be absent in cereal species outside of the tribe Triticeae, in which the dominant form of grain texture is hard. To assess the ability of the puroindolines to modify cereal grain texture, the puroindolines were introduced into rice (Oryzae sativa L.) under the control of the maize ubiquitin promoter. Textural analysis of transgenic rice seeds indicated that expression of PINA and/or PINB reduced rice grain hardness. After milling, flour prepared from these softer seeds had reduced starch damage and an increased percentage of fine flour particles. Our data support the hypothesis that puroindolines play important roles in controlling wheat grain texture and may be useful in modifying grain texture of other cereals.

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