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Allelic Diversities in Rice Starch Biosynthesis Lead to a Diverse Array of Rice Eating and Cooking Qualities

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Allelic Diversities in Rice Starch Biosynthesis Lead to a Diverse Array of Rice Eating and Cooking Qualities

Zhixi Tian et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.

Abstract

More than half of the world's population uses rice as a source of carbon intake every day. Improving grain quality is thus essential to rice consumers. The three main properties that determine rice eating and cooking quality--amylose content, gel consistency, and gelatinization temperature--correlate with one another, but the underlying mechanism of these properties remains unclear. Through an association analysis approach, we found that genes related to starch synthesis cooperate with each other to form a fine regulating network that controls the eating and cooking quality and defines the correlation among these three properties. Genetic transformation results verified the association findings and also suggested the possibility of developing elite cultivars through modification with selected major and/or minor starch synthesis-related genes.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Figures

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.
A simplified starch synthesis system in cereal. Eighteen genes are involved in or play distinct roles in different steps of starch synthesis. AGP, ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase; AGPlar, AGP large subunit; AGPiso, AGP large subunit isoform; AGPsma, AGP small subunit; GBSS, granule-bound starch synthase; SS, soluble starch synthase; SBE, starch branching enzyme; ISA, isoamylase; PUL, pullulanase; ISA and PUL belong to starch debranching enzyme (DBE).
Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.
Effects of Wx and SSII-3 on grain ECQs in rice. (A) Wx functions as a major gene controlling AC. (B) Wx functions as a major gene controlling GC. (C) SSII-3 functions as a major gene controlling GT. (D) SSII-3 also functions additively with Wx to control grain AC. (E) Wx works with SSII-3 in controlling grain GT. (F) The haplotype combination of Wx and SSII-3. The red triangles and lines are mean ± SE, and the trait values of each variety are represented as solid (2005) or open (2006) circles. Numbers behind genes refer to the association sites and the Roman numerals above the lines stand for haplotypes.
Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.
Summary of genes controlling rice grain ECQs. The three large ovals represent AC (green), GC (blue), and GT (pink), and the role of each gene is proportionally represented by a small oval. Numbers in the overlapped region indicate the correlation coefficients between the two properties. UHC: Unequal haplotype combination.
Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.
Transgenic verification. (A) Analysis of antisense Wx transgenic lines. (a) The construct of the antisense Wx gene. (b) Identification of transgenic lines. Levels of Wx (c), AC (d), GC (e), and GT (f) in the transgenic lines. (B) Analysis of Wx-III overexpression transgenic lines. (a) The construct of overexpressing of Wx-III. (b) Identification of transgenic lines. Levels of Wx (c), AC (d), GC (e), and GT (f) in the transgenic lines. (C) Expression of SSII-3-II in the SSII-3-I background. (a) The construct containing Shuangkezao SSII-3-II. (b) Identification of transgenic lines. (c) Transcriptional levels of SSII-3 in transgenic lines revealed by qPCR. Values of AC (d), GC (e), and GT (f) in the transgenic lines. (D) Transgenic analysis of the repression of minor gene SBE3. (a) The RNAi construct of SBE3. (b) Identification of transgenic lines. (c) Western analyses of transgenic lines. Significant changes of AC (d), GC (e), or GT (f) in the transgenic lines. The error bar for each value represents the mean ± SE, * and ** indicate the least significant difference at 0.05 or 0.01 probability level, respectively.

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