Molecular Aspect of Good Eating Quality Formation in Japonica Rice
The composition of amylopectin is the determinant of rice eating quality under certain threshold of protein content and the ratio of amylose and amylopectin. In molecular biology level, the fine structure of amylopectin is determined by relative activities of starch branching enzyme (SBE), granule-bound starch synthase (GBSS), and soluble starch synthase (SSS) in rice grain under the same ADP-Glucose level. But the underlying mechanism of eating quality in molecular biology level remains unclear. This paper reports the differences on major parameters such as SNP and insertion-deletion sites, RNA expressions, and enzyme activities associated with eating quality of japonica varieties. Eight japonica rice varieties with significant differences in various eating quality parameters such as palatability and protein content were used in this experiment. Association analysis between nucleotide polymorphism and eating quality showed that S12 and S13 loci in SBE1, S55 in SSS1, S58 in SSS2A were significantly associated with apparent amylose content, alkali digestion value, setback viscosity, consistency viscosity, pasting temperature, which explained most of the variation in apparent amylose content, setback viscosity, and consistency viscosity; and explained almost all variations in alkali digestion value and pasting temperature. Thirty-five SNPs and insertion-deletions from SBE1, SBE3, GBSS1, SSS1, and SSS2A differentiated high or intermediate palatability rice varieties from low palatability rice varieties. Correlation analysis between enzyme activities and eating quality properties revealed that SBE25 and SSS15/W15 were positively correlated with palatability, whereas GBSS10 and GBSS15 were negatively correlated. Gene expressions showed that SBE1 and SBE3 expressions in high palatability varieties tended to be higher than middle and low palatability varieties. Collectively, SBE1, SBE3, SSS1, and SSS2A, especially SBE1 and SBE3 could improve eating quality, but GBSS1 decreased eating quality. The results indicated the possibility of developing high palatability cultivars through modification of key genes related to japonica rice eating quality formation in starch biosynthesis.
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