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Identification and molecular characterization of a large insertion within the repetitive domain of a high-molecular-weight glutenin subunit gene from hexaploid wheat


High-molecular-weight (HMW) glutenin subunits are a particular class of wheat endosperm proteins containing a large repetitive domain flanked by two short N- and C-terminal non-repetitive regions. Deletions and insertions within the central repetitive domain has been suggested to be mainly responsible for the length variations observed for this class of proteins. Nucleotide sequence comparison of a number of HMW glutenin genes allowed the identification of small insertions or deletions within the repetitive domain. However, only indirect evidence has been produced which suggests the occurrence of substantial insertions or deletions within this region when a large variation in molecular size is present between different HMW glutenin subunits. This paper represents the first report on the molecular characterization of an unusually large insertion within the repetitive domain of a functional HMW glutenin gene. This gene is located at the Glu-D1 locus of a hexaploid wheat genotype and contains an insertion of 561 base pairs that codes for 187 amino acids corresponding to the repetitive domain of a HMW glutenin subunit encoded at the same locus. The precise location of the insertion has been identified and the molecular processes underlying such mutational events are discussed.

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Communicated by G. E. Hart

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D'Ovidio, R., Lafiandra, D. & Porceddu, E. Identification and molecular characterization of a large insertion within the repetitive domain of a high-molecular-weight glutenin subunit gene from hexaploid wheat. Theoret. Appl. Genetics 93, 1048–1053 (1996).

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Key words

  • Triticum aestivum
  • HMW glutenin genes
  • Unequal crossing-over
  • PCR
  • Glu-D1 locus