Novel Plant Starches

Tech ID: 18.638

Key Features

  • Flexible starch modification by simple mutation
  • Mutant wheat lines with altered starch granule size profile
  • Multiple high value applications in a range of crops


David Seung at the John Innes Centre has found that specific mutations in the MRC1 gene of wheat cause a shift in the particle size distribution of endosperm starch. Loss of function mutants cause a shift to on average smaller granules (fewer A-type granules and relatively more B-type granules). In contrast, certain other mutants can increase the activity of MRC, causing a shift to on average more large granules.  The choice of MRC mutation therefore can result in starches of very different physico-chemical properties, as required for different uses and industrial applications. MRC is centrally responsible for controlling starch granule initiation in plant storage organs and is conserved across plant species, thus affording broad application for tailoring starch to particular end-uses.

For further detailed information please download the non-confidential summary pdf.


Published: WO/2020/065331; EP 3856912


Seung et al (2018).  Two Plastidial Coiled-Coil Proteins are Essential for Normal Starch Granule Initiation in Arabidopsis.  Plant Cell; 30(7): 1523-1542.

Contact: Dr Jan Chojecki

David Seung
John Innes Centre (Norwich, UK)