Expression of HMW subunit, gamma-zein and uidA genes in endosperms of transgenic bread wheat

G. Y. He, R. D'Ovidio, O. D. Anderson, R. Fido, A. S. Tatham, H. Darlington, J. Napier, P. A. Lazzeri, H. D. Jones, P. R. Shewry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceeding (Non-Journal item)


Transformation allows the production of wheat plants with specific differences in their gluten structure, by the introduction of additional genes for wild type or mutant proteins. Similarly, genes from other species can also be inserted, such as those for the gamma -zein proteins which are associated with hard endosperm texture in maize. It therefore allows the relationships between protein composition and grain functionality to be established. Transgenic wheat lines were obtained by transformation with genes encoding wild type subunit 1Dx5, long and short mutant forms of this subunit and subunit Dx2.2*, using particle bombardment. The mutant HMW subunit constructs differ in the lengths of their repetitive domain while subunit 1Dx2.2* is the largest HMW glutenin subunit reported. These genes will therefore provide information on the relationship between subunit structure and gluten properties. Expression of the wild type and mutant forms of subunit 1Dx5 has been shown by SDS-PAGE of seed proteins. Small-scale Mixograph analysis and other testing of flour from these lines will be carried out to determine changes in functional properties. In a related study, transgenic wheat plants with the gamma -zein gene driven by either the wheat HMW subunit promoter or the maize gamma -zein promoter were produced. Analysis of the seed proteins of several gamma -zein PCR-positive lines, by dot blotting and antibody hybridisation and SDS-PAGE, has shown the expression of the gamma -zein gene. To study the tissue specificity, several homozygous transgenic plants were produced with the uidA gene driven by the HMW subunit promoter. GUS expression was observed in starchy endosperms of transgenic plants in the T-1, T-2 and T-3 generations, but not in leaves, roots, anthers and pollen, demonstrating endosperm-specific expression regulated by the HMW subunit promoter.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWheat in a Global Environment
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 6th International Wheat Conference, 5-9 June, Budapest, Hungary
EditorsZ. Bedo, L. Lang
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)978-0792367222, 0792367227
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Event6th International Wheat Conference - BUDAPEST, Hungary
Duration: 05 Jun 200009 Jun 2000

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Plant Breeding


Conference6th International Wheat Conference
Period05 Jun 200009 Jun 2000


  • mutant HMW subunit
  • gamma-zein
  • tissue specific promoter
  • storage protein alteration
  • bread wheat


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