Regulation of Amylose Content by Single Mutations at an Active Site in the Wx-B1 Gene in a Tetraploid Wheat Mutant

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The granule-bound starch synthase I (GBSSI) encoded by the waxy gene is responsible for amylose synthesis in the endosperm of wheat grains. In the present study, a novel Wx-B1 null mutant line, M3-415, was identified from an ethyl methanesulfonate-mutagenized population of Chinese tetraploid wheat landrace Jianyangailanmai (LM47). The gene sequence indicated that the mutated Wx-B1 encoded a complete protein; this protein was incompatible with the protein profile obtained using sodium dodecyl sulfatepolyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, which showed the lack of Wx-B1 protein in the mutant line. The prediction of the protein structure showed an amino acid substitution (G470D) at the edge of the ADPG binding pocket, which might affect the binding of Wx-B1 to starch granules. Site-directed mutagenesis was further performed to artificially change the amino acid at the sequence position 469 from alanine (A) to threonine (T) (A469T) downstream of the mutated site in M3-415. Our results indicated that a single amino acid mutation in Wx-B1 reduces its activity by impairing its starch-binding capacity. The present study is the first to report the novel mechanism underlying Wx-1 deletion in wheat; moreover, it provided new insights into the inactivation of the waxy gene and revealed that fine regulation of wheat amylose content is possible by modifying the GBSSI activity