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Nat Biotechnol. 1996 Sep;14(9):1155-9.

Integration and expression of the high-molecular-weight glutenin subunit 1Ax1 gene into wheat.

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Laboratory of Plant Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611-0690, USA.


The unique bread-making characteristic of wheat flour is closely related to the elasticity and extensibility of the gluten proteins stored in the starchy endosperm, particularly the high-molecular-weight glutenin subunits (HMW-GS), which are important in determining gluten and dough elasticity. The quality of wheat cultivars depends on the number and composition of the HMW-GS present. We have introduced the HMW-GS 1Ax1 gene, known to be associated with good bread-making quality, into the Bob White cultivar of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), in which it is not present in nature, by the biolistic bombardment of cultured immature embryos. Of the 21 independent transformed lines selected, 20 expressed the selectable bar gene, and nine the 1Ax1 gene. The amount of HMW-GS 1Ax1 protein produced in the different transgenic lines varied from 0.6% to 2.3% of the total protein, resulting in an increase of up to 71% in total HMW-GS proteins. The transgenic plants were normal, fertile, and showed Mendelian segregation of the transgenes. The accumulation of HMW-GS 1Ax1 was consistent and stable up to the R3 seed generation. These results demonstrate that it is possible to manipulate both the quantity and quality of HMW-GS, which influence the bread-making quality of wheat.

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