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, 209 (1), 33-40

A Novel Wheat Alpha-Amylase Gene (alpha-Amy3)


A Novel Wheat Alpha-Amylase Gene (alpha-Amy3)

D C Baulcombe et al. Mol Gen Genet.


A genomic clone of a wheat alpha-amylase gene (lambdaAmy3/33) was identified, on the basis of hybridisation properties, as different from alpha-Amy1 and alpha-Amy2 genes which had been characterised previously. The nucleotide sequence revealed that this gene has the normal sequence motifs of an active gene and an open reading frame interrupted by two introns. The protein sequence encoded by this open reading frame is recognisably similar to that of alpha-amylase from the alpha-Amy1 and alpha-Amy2 genes and there is high sequence homology in all three proteins at the putative active sites and Ca++ binding region. In addition, the introns are at positions equivalent to the position of introns in the alpha-Amy1 and alpha-Amy2 genes. However, the sequence was less similar to alpha-Amy1 and alpha-Amy2 than these are to each other. Southern blot analysis showed that the lambdaAmy3/33 DNA is one of a small multigene family carried on a different chromosome (group 5) from either the alpha-Amy1 or alpha-Amy2 genes. A further difference from the alpha-Amy1 and alpha-Amy2 genese was the pattern of expression. lambdaAmy3/33 was expreseed only in immature grains and, unlike the alpha-Amy1 and alpha-Amy2 genes, not at all in germinating aleurones. These data suggested therefore that this gene represents a third type of alpha-amylase gene, not described before, which shares a common evolutionary ancestor with the alpha-Amy1 and alpha-Amy2 genes.

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