U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version



Journal of Cereal Science 57 (2013) 377-383; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcs.2013.01.001


In cereal seeds, mutations in one or more starch synthases lead to decreased amylopectin and increased amylose content. Here, the impact of starch synthase IIa (SSIIa or SGP-1) mutations upon durum starch was investigated. A screen of durum accessions identified two lines lacking SGP-A1, the A genome copy of SGP-1. The two lines were determined to carry a 29 bp deletion in the first exon of SSIIa. The SGP-A1 nulls were crossed with the durum variety ‘Mountrail’ and F5 derived SGP-A1 null progeny lines were treated with EMS. From each EMS population, one SGP-B1 null mutation was recovered with each being a missense mutation. Each of the SGP-1 nulls was found to have large increases in amylose content and reduced binding of SGP-2 and SGP-3 to the interior of starch granules. RNA-Seq was used to examine the impact the loss of SGP-1 has upon other starch biosynthetic genes. Significant increases in transcript levels of several starch biosynthetic genes were observed in SGP-1 nulls relative to Mountrail. The resultant high amylose durums may prove useful in the creation of value added pasta with increased firmness and reduced glycemic index.