Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Detection and characterization of a glutenin subunit with unusual high Mr at the Glu-A1 locus in hexaploid wheat

  • 66 Accesses

  • 9 Citations


A hexaploid wheat landrace collected from the Baluchistan province of Pakistan was found to possess a novel high-molecular-weight glutenin subunit (HMW-GS). The subunit has a very slow electrophoretic mobility as revealed by SDS-PAGE, and its molecular weight is comparable to that of the highest molecular weight glutenin subunit (“2.2” encoded in the D-genome) reported so far in hexaploid wheat varieties and landraces of Japanese origin. Evidence obtained from (PCR) gene amplification studies using the primers specific for Glu-1 loci proved that the gene coding for this novel subunit belongs to the Glu-A1 locus located on the long arm of chromosome 1A. Digestion of the amplified gene (PCR product) with restriction enzymes indicated that the novel gene differs from prevailing Glu-A1 alleles (null, 1 and 2*) by an extra DNA fragment of approximately 600 base pairs. The results also indicated that the novel subunit is most probably a derivative of subunit 2* that has very likely incorporated the 600-bp fragment following a process of unequal crossing over. The present findings were further substantiated by reserved phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) analysis.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Anderson OD, Greene FC (1989) The characterization and comperative analysis of high-molecular-weight glutenin genes from genomes A and B of a hexaploid bread wheat. Theor Appl Genet 77:689–700

  2. Branlard G, Autran JC, Monneveux P (1989) High molecular weight glutenin subunit in durum wheat (T. durum). Theor Appl Genet 78:353–358

  3. Cross RJ, Guo B (1993) Glutenin variation in a diverse pre-1935 world wheat germplasm collection. In: Damania AB (ed) Biodiversity and wheat improvement (ICARDA, Syria, pp 287–298

  4. Dellaporta SL, Woods J, Hicks JB (1983) A plant DNA mini preparation II. Plant Mol Biol 1: 19–21

  5. D'Ovidio R, Porceddu E, Lafiandra D (1994) PCR analysis of genes encoding allelic variants of high-molecular-weight glutenin subunits at the Glu-D1 locus. Theor Appl Genet 88:175–180

  6. D'Ovidio R, Masci S, Porceddu E (1995) Development of a set of oligonucleotide primers specific for genes at the Glu-1 complex loci of wheat. Theor Appl Genet 91:189–194

  7. Halford NG, Field JM, Blair H, Urwin K, Robert L, Thompson R, Flavell RB, Tatham AS, Shewry PR (1992) Analysis of HMW glutenin subunits encoded by chromosome 1A of bread wheat (Tritcum aestivum L.) indicates quantitative effects on grain quality. Theor Appl Genet 83:373–378

  8. Harberd NP, Bartels D, Thompson RD (1986) DNA restrictionfragment variation in the gene family encoding high molecular weight (HMW) glutenin subunits of wheat. Biochem Genet 24:579–596

  9. Holt LM, Astin R, Payne PI (1981) Structural and genetical studies on the high-molecular weight subunits of wheat glutenin. 2 Relative isoelectric points determined by two-dimensional fractionation in polyacrylamide gels. Theor Appl Genet 60:237–243

  10. Lafiandra D D'Ovidio R, Porceddu E, Margiotta B, Colaprico G (1993) New data supporting High Mr glutenin subunit 5 as the determinant of quality differences among pairs 5+10 vs. 2+12. J Cereal Sci 18:197–205

  11. Lawrence GJ, Shepherd KW (1981) Inheritance of glutenin protein subunits of wheat. Theor Appl Genet 60:333–337

  12. Margiotta B, Colaprico G, D'Ovidio R, Lafiandra D (1993) Characterization of high Mr subunits of glutenin by combined chromatographic (RP-HPLC) and electrophoretic separations and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analyses of their encoding genes. J Cereal Sci 17:221–236

  13. Payne PI (1987) Genetics of wheat storage proteins and the effect of allelic variation on bread-making quality. Annu Rev Plant Physiol 38:141–153

  14. Payne PI, Corfield KG (1979) Subunit composition of wheat glutenin proteins isolated by gel filtration in a dissociating medium. Planta 145:83–88

  15. Payne PI, Lawrence GJ (1983) Catalogue of alleles for the complex gene loci, Glu-A1, Glu-B1 and Glu-D1 which code for high-molecular-weight subunits of glutenin in hexaploid wheat. Cereal Res Commun 11:29–35

  16. Payne PI, Harris PA, Law CN, Holt LM, Blackman JA (1980) The high-molecular-weight subunits of glutenin: structure, gentics and relationship to bread-making quality. Ann Technol Agric 29:309–320

  17. Payne PI, Law CN, Mudd EE (1980) Control by homoeologous group 1 chromosomes of the high-molecular-weight subunits of glutenin, a major protein of wheat endosperm. Theor Appl Genet 58:113–120

  18. Payne PI, Holt LM, Law CN (1981) Structural and genetical studies on the high-molecular-weight subunits of wheat glutenin. Part 1. Allelic variation in subunits amongst varieties of wheat. (T. aestivum). Theor Appl Genet 60:229–236

  19. Payne PI, Holt LM, Worland AJ, Law CN (1982) Structural and genetical studies on the high-molecular-weight subunits of wheat glutenin. 3. Telocentric mapping of the subunit genes on the long arms of the homoeolgous group 1 chromosomes. Theor Appl Genet 63:129–138

  20. Payne PI, Holt LM, Jarvis MG, Jackson EA (1985) Two-dimensional fractionation of the endosperm proteins of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum): biochemical and genetic studies. Cereal Chem 62:319–326

  21. Payne PI, Holt LM, Lawrence GJ (1983) Detection of a novel high molecular weight subunit of glutenin in some Japanese hexaploid wheats. J. Cereal Sci 1:3–8

  22. Shewry PR, Halford NG, Tatham AS (1989) The high-molecularweight subunits of wheat, barley and rye: genetics molecular biology chemistry and role in wheat glutenin structure and functionality. (Oxford surveys of plant molecular and cell biology, vol. 6. Oxford University Press, Oxford), pp 163–219

  23. Thompson RD, Bartels D, Harberd NP, Flavell RB (1983) Characterisation of the multigenic family coding for HMW glutenin subunits in wheat using cDNA clones. Theor Appl Genet 67:87–96

  24. Vallega V, Waines JG (1987) High-molecular weight glutenin subunit variation in Triticum turgidum var, ‘dicoccum’. Theor Appl Genet 74:706–710

  25. Wainex JG, Payne PI (1987) Electrophoretic analysis of the high-molecular-weight glutenin subunits of Triticum monococcum, T. urartu, and the A genome of bread wheat (T. aestivum). Theor Appl Genet 74:71–76

Download references

Author information

Additional information

Communicated by G. Wenzel

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Tahir, M., Pavoni, A., Tucci, G.F. et al. Detection and characterization of a glutenin subunit with unusual high Mr at the Glu-A1 locus in hexaploid wheat. Theoret. Appl. Genetics 92, 654–659 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00226085

Download citation

Key words

  • Wheat
  • HMW glutenin genes
  • Glu-A1
  • PCR