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Int J Mol Sci. 2013 Aug 19;14(8):17073-84. doi: 10.3390/ijms140817073.

Effects of reduced prolamin on seed storage protein composition and the nutritional quality of rice.

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Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration (RDA), 224 Suinro Gwonseon-gu, Suwon 441-707, Gyeonggi-do, Korea.


Rice seed storage proteins accumulate in two types of protein body (PB-I and PB-II) that are nutrient sources for animals. PB-I is indigestible and negatively affects rice protein quality. To improve the nutritional value of rice seeds we are aiming to engineer the composition and accumulation of endogenous seed storage proteins. In this study we generated transgenic rice plants in which 13 kD prolamin genes were suppressed by RNA interference (13 kD pro-RNAi). Analysis based on qRT-PCR confirmed that the targeted 13 kD prolamins were markedly suppressed, and were compensated for by an increase in other storage proteins including 10 kD prolamin, glutelins, and chaperone proteins. The storage protein profiles further revealed that the levels of 13 kD prolamins were significantly reduced, while that of the glutelin precursor was slightly increased and the remaining storage proteins did not change. Amino acid analysis showed that the reduction of 13 kD prolamins resulted in a 28% increase in the lysine content relative to the wild type, indicating that the 13 kD pro-RNAi rice seeds are more nutritious. Furthermore, a reduction in the levels of 13 kD prolamins resulted in abnormal formation of PB-I, which was small and had no lamellar structure. These results suggest that alteration of prolamins can contribute to improving the nutritional quality of rice.

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