Studies of maize starch branching enzyme mutants suggest that the amylose extender high amylose starch phenotype is a consequence of the lack of expression of the predominant starch branching enzyme II isoform expressed in the endosperm, SBEIIb. However, in wheat, the ratio of SBEIIb and SBEIIa expression are inversely related to the expression levels observed in maize and rice. Analysis of RNA at 15 days post anthesis suggests that there are about 4-fold more RNA for SBE IIa than for SBE IIb. The genes for SBE IIa and SBE IIb from wheat are distinguished in the size of the first three exons, allowing isoform-specific antibodies to be produced. These antibodies were used to demonstrate that in the soluble fraction, the amount of SBE IIa protein is two to three fold higher than SBIIb, whereas in the starch granule, there is two to three fold more SBE IIb protein amount than SBE IIa. In a further difference to maize and rice, the genes for SBE IIa and SBE IIb are both located on the long arm of chromosome 2 in wheat, in a position not expected from rice-maize-wheat synteny.
- Starch branching enzyme