The molecular diversity of α-gliadin genes in the tribe Triticeae

Genetica. 2013 Sep;141(7-9):303-10. doi: 10.1007/s10709-013-9729-2. Epub 2013 Jul 27.


Many of the unique properties of wheat flour are derived from seed storage proteins such as the α-gliadins. In this study these α-gliadin genes from diploid Triticeae species were systemically characterized, and divided into 3 classes according to the distinct organization of their protein domains. Our analyses indicated that these α-gliadins varied in the number of cysteine residues they contained. Most of the α-gliadin genes were grouped according to their genomic origins within the phylogenetic tree. As expected, sequence alignments suggested that the repetitive domain and the two polyglutamine regions were responsible for length variations of α-gliadins as were the insertion/deletion of structural domains within the three different classes (I, II, and III) of α-gliadins. A screening of celiac disease toxic epitopes indicated that the α-gliadins of the class II, derived from the Ns genome, contain no epitope, and that some other genomes contain much fewer epitopes than the A, S(B) and D genomes of wheat. Our results suggest that the observed genetic differences in α-gliadins of Triticeae might indicate their use as a fertile ground for the breeding of less CD-toxic wheat varieties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Gliadin / chemistry
  • Gliadin / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Triticum / genetics*


  • Plant Proteins
  • Gliadin