High-amylose wheat generated by RNA interference improves indices of large-bowel health in rats

Ahmed Regina, Anthony Bird, David Topping, Sarah Bowden, Judy Freeman, Tina Barsby, Behjat Kosar-Hashemi, Zhongyi Li, Sadequr Rahman, Matthew Morell

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390 Citations (Scopus)


Foods high in resistant starch have the potential to improve human health and lower the risk of serious noninfectious diseases. RNA interference was used to down-regulate the two different isoforms of starch-branching enzyme (SBE) II (SBEIIa and SBEIIb) in wheat endosperm to raise its amylose content. Suppression of SBEIIb expression alone had no effect on amylose content; however, suppression of both SBEIIa and SBEIIb expression resulted in starch containing >70% amylose. When the >70% amylose wheat grain was fed to rats in a diet as a wholemeal, several indices of large-bowel function, including short-chain fatty acids, were improved relative to standard wholemeal wheat. These results indicate that this high-amylose wheat has a significant potential to improve human health through its resistant starch content.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3546-3551
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Genetic engineering
  • Nutrition
  • Starch

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