Research from Dr David Seung’s group at the John Innes Centre has brought clarity to the longstanding question of how starch granules form in the seeds of Triticeae crops - wheat, barley, and rye - unlocking diverse potential benefits for numerous industries and for human health. At the same time the research provides strains of wheat and barley with starch dramatically reduced in B-granule content.
The team used genomic and experimental techniques to show that A- and B-type granules are formed by two distinct mechanisms. By identifying an enzyme involved in B-type granule initiation and by then using conventional plant breeding techniques to remove this protein, they were able to produce wheat with low or no B-granules - with no penalties on plant development and without reducing the overall starch content
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Initiation of B-type starch granules in wheat endosperm requires the plastidial α-glucan phosphorylase PHS1 was published in Plant Cell.
The PHS1 technology (22.696) is available through PBL.