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


Date of this Version



Mol Breeding (2009) 23:209–217; DOI 10.1007/s11032-008-9226-y


Waxy protein (granule-bound starch synthase I) is a key enzyme in the synthesis of amylose in endosperm tissue. The amylose content of wheat flour plays a significant role in determining Japanese udon noodle quality. Most wheat cultivars suitable for producing udon noodles have a low amylose level due to a lack of Wx-B1 protein conditioned by null Wx-B1 alleles. It was previously determined that the entire coding region of the wheat Wx-B1 gene is deleted in the most common null allele. However, the extent and breakpoints of the deletion have not been established. In this study, the position of the 30 deletion breakpoint was refined by mapping with PCR-based markers. Using information from this analysis, a chromosome walk was initiated and the DNA sequence flanking the deletion breakpoints was obtained. The deletion included a 3,872 bp region downstream from the termination codon of Wx-B1 gene. Based on similarity with T. monococcum sequences, it was estimated that approximately 60 KB upstream of the Wx-B1 gene was also deleted. Using this sequence information, a codominant marker for the identification of the Wx-B1 null allele was developed. This marker can unambiguously identify heterozygous plants, which will accelerate the selection of partial waxy mutants carrying the Wx-B1 null allele.