Reduced free asparagine in wheat grain resulting from a natural deletion of TaASNB2: investigating and exploiting diversity in the asparagine synthetase gene family to improve wheat quality

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Oddy, J., Alarcon-Reverte, R., Wilkinson, M. D., Ravet, K., Raffan, S., Minter, A., Mead, A., Elmore, J. S., Moreira de Almeida, I., Cryer, N., Halford, N. G. and Pearce, S. 2021. Reduced free asparagine in wheat grain resulting from a natural deletion of TaASNB2: investigating and exploiting diversity in the asparagine synthetase gene family to improve wheat quality. BMC Plant Biology. 21 (1), p. 302. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-021-03058-7

AuthorsOddy, J., Alarcon-Reverte, R., Wilkinson, M. D., Ravet, K., Raffan, S., Minter, A., Mead, A., Elmore, J. S., Moreira de Almeida, I., Cryer, N., Halford, N. G. and Pearce, S.
Abstract

Background: Understanding the determinants of free asparagine concentration in wheat grain is necessary to reduce levels of the processing contaminant acrylamide in baked and toasted wheat products. Although crop management strategies can help reduce asparagine levels, breeders have limited options to select for genetic variation underlying this trait. Asparagine synthetase enzymes catalyse a critical step in asparagine biosynthesis in plants and, in wheat, are encoded by five homeologous gene triads that exhibit distinct expression profiles. Within this family, TaASN2 genes are highly expressed during grain development but TaASN-B2 is absent in some varieties.
Results:
Natural genetic diversity in the asparagine synthetase gene family was assessed in different wheat varieties revealing instances of presence/absence variation and other polymorphisms, including some predicted to affect the function of the encoded protein. The presence and absence of TaASN-B2 was determined across a range of UK and global common wheat varieties and related species, showing that the deletion encompassing this gene was already present in some wild emmer wheat genotypes. Expression profiling confirmed that TaASN2 transcripts were only detectable in the grain, while TaASN3.1 genes were highly expressed during the early stages of grain development. TaASN-A2 was the most highly expressed TaASN2 homeologue in most assayed wheat varieties. TaASN-B2 and TaASN-D2 were expressed at similar, lower levels in varieties possessing TaASN-B2. Expression of TaASN-A2 and TaASN-D2 did not increase to compensate for the absence of TaASN-B2, so total TaASN2 expression was lower in varieties lacking TaASN-B2. Consequently, free asparagine levels in field-produced grain were, on average, lower in varieties lacking TaASN-B2, although the effect was lost when free asparagine accumulated to very high levels as a result of sulphur deficiency.
Conclusions: Selecting wheat genotypes lacking the TaASN-B2 gene may be a simple and rapid way for breeders to reduce free asparagine levels in commercial wheat grain.

KeywordsWheat; Triticum aestivum; Asparagine metabolism; Acrylamide; Asparagine synthetase; Food safety ; Wheat breeding
Year of Publication2021
JournalBMC Plant Biology
Journal citation21 (1), p. 302
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-021-03058-7
Web address (URL)https://bmcplantbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12870-021-03058-7
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeCollaborative Training Partnership Studentship with Mondelez International
DFW - Designing Future Wheat - Work package 1 (WP1) - Increased efficiency and sustainability
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online29 Jun 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted17 May 2021
PublisherBiomed Central Ltd
ISSN1471-2229

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/9822y/reduced-free-asparagine-in-wheat-grain-resulting-from-a-natural-deletion-of-taasnb2-investigating-and-exploiting-diversity-in-the-asparagine-synthetase-gene-family-to-improve-wheat-quality

24 total views
10 total downloads
3 views this month
2 downloads this month
Download files as zip