Low-molecular-weight glutenin subunits (LMW-GS), encoded by a complex multigene family, play an important role in the processing quality of wheat flour. Although members of this gene family have been identified in several wheat varieties, the allelic variation and composition of LMW-GS genes in common wheat are not well understood. In the present study, using the LMW-GS gene molecular marker system and the full-length gene cloning method, a comprehensive molecular analysis of LMW-GS genes was conducted in a representative population, the micro-core collections (MCC) of Chinese wheat germplasm. Generally, >15 LMW-GS genes were identified from individual MCC accessions, of which 4-6 were located at the Glu-A3 locus, 3-5 at the Glu-B3 locus, and eight at the Glu-D3 locus. LMW-GS genes at the Glu-A3 locus showed the highest allelic diversity, followed by the Glu-B3 genes, while the Glu-D3 genes were extremely conserved among MCC accessions. Expression and sequence analysis showed that 9-13 active LMW-GS genes were present in each accession. Sequence identity analysis showed that all i-type genes present at the Glu-A3 locus formed a single group, the s-type genes located at Glu-B3 and Glu-D3 loci comprised a unique group, while high-diversity m-type genes were classified into four groups and detected in all Glu-3 loci. These results contribute to the functional analysis of LMW-GS genes and facilitate improvement of bread-making quality by wheat molecular breeding programmes.
- Common wheat
- Low-molecular-weight glutenin subunits