Starch accumulates in plants as granules in chloroplasts of source organs such as leaves (transitory starch) or in amyloplasts of sink organs such as seeds, tubers and roots (storage starch). Starch is composed of two types of glucose polymers: the essentially linear polymer amylose and highly branched amylopectin. The amylose content of wheat and rice seeds is an important quality trait, affecting the nutritional and sensory quality of two of the world's most important crops. In this review, we focus on the relationship between amylose biosynthesis and the structure, physical behaviour and functionality of wheat and rice grains. We briefly describe the structure and composition of starch and then in more detail describe what is known about the mechanism of amylose synthesis and how the amount of amylose in starch might be controlled. This more specifically includes analysis of GBSS alleles, the relationship between waxy allelic forms and amylose, and related quantitative trait loci. Finally, different methods for increasing or lowering amylose content are evaluated.
- amylose content