Classification of high and low molecular weight glutenin subunits and related genes in tetra-hexaploid wheat landraces

Document Type : Research paper


1 Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Imam Khomeini International University, P. O. Box: 34148-96818, Qazvin, Iran.

2 Leibniz-Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Germany.

3 National Institute for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Tehran, Iran.

4 Seed and Plant Improvement Institute, Karaj, Iran.


Wheat is the first and the most important grain of the world and its bakery property depends on gluten quality. Gluten is a part of endosperm hard proteins that causes increased stickiness quality. Wheat glutenin is divided into two groups according to their molecular weight, glutenin subunits with high molecular weight (HMW-GS) and glutenin subunits with low molecular weight (LMW-GS). In the present study, 97 Iranian wheat landraces were analyzed for diversity in high and low molecular weight glutenin subunits. In hexaploids, 11 different high molecular weight subunits were identified, three of which were related to Glu-A1, five for Glu-B1 and three were related to Glu-D1. Interestingly, the subunit 2.1+10* was observed in three landraces.In tetraploids, nine subunits were identified, of which two were related to Glu-A1 and seven were related to Glu-B1. Low molecular weight glutenin subunit encoding genes were investigated using seven DNA primer pairs for Glu-A3, Glu-B3 and Glu-D3 loci. Five alleles were identified for Glu3-A.2 with frequencies ranging from 3.092 to 96.907.Two alleles were identified by Glu3-A3 with relative frequencies of 0.412 and 0.608%.For Glu3-B.1, 10 alleles were identified, with frequencies ranging from 1.030 to 92.783. However, three alleles a, b and c were identified by Glu3-B.2 with frequencies of 0.01, 0.78 and 0.20, respectively. Three specific primers were used for Glu-D3 locus and because durum wheat lacks DD genome, it was not estimated in this genetic block. Using PCR amplification, nine alleles were identified for Glu3-D1 with frequencies ranging from 5.34 to 86.67. Also two and three alleles were identified using Glu3-D.3 and Glu3-D.4, respectively.


Bahraei S., Saidi, A., and Alizadeh D. (2004). High molecular weight glutenin subunits of current bread wheats grown in Iran. Euphytica, 137: 173–179.
Chen Q., Zhang W., Gao Y., Yang C., Gao X., Peng H., Hu Z., Xin M., Ni Z., Zhang P., and Ma, H. (2019). High molecular weight glutenin subunits 1Bx7 and 1By9 encoded by Glu-B1 locus affect wheat dough properties and sponge cake quality. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 67: 11796–11804.
Cho K., Jo Y. M., Lim S. H., Kim J. Y., Han O., and Lee J. Y. (2019). Overexpressing wheat low-molecular-weight glutenin subunits in rice (Oryza sativa L. japonica cv. Koami) seeds. 3 Biotech, 9: 49–57.
Cloutier S., Rampitsch C., Penner G. A., and Lukow O. M. (2001). Cloning and expression of a LMW-I glutenin gene. Journal of Cereal Science, 33: 143–154.
Dangi P., and Khatkar B. S., (2019). Extraction and purification of low molecular weight glutenin subunits using size exclusion chromatography. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 56:951–956.
Dangi P., Chaudhary N., and Khatkar, B. S. (2019). Rheological and microstructural characteristics of low molecular weight glutenin subunits of commercial wheats. Food Chemistry, 297:124989–124995.
Doyle J. J., and Doyle J. L. (1990). A rapid total DNA preparation procedure for fresh plant tissue. Focus, 12: 13–15.
Guo H., Wu J., Lu Y., and Yan, Y. (2019). High- molecular-weight glutenin 1Bx17 and 1By18 subunits encoded by Glu-B1i enhance rheological properties and breadmaking quality of wheat dough. Journal of Food Quality, 10: 1155–1163.
Gupta R. B., Khan K., and Ritchie F. M. (1993). Biochemical basis of flour properties in bread wheat. I. Effects of variation in the quantity and size distribution of polymeric protein. Journal of Cereal Science, 18: 23–41.
Graybosch R. A., Peterson C. J., Lee J. H., and Shelton D. R. (1994). Effect of glutenin protein polymorphisms on bread making quality of winter wheats. Crop Science, 34: 628–635.
Jackson E. A., Holt L. M., and Payne P. L. (1983). Characterization of high molecular weight gliadin and low molecular weight glutenin subunits of wheat endosperm by two-dimensional electrophoresis and the chromosomal localization of their controlling genes. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 66: 29–37.
Liang X., Zhen S., Han C., Wang C., Li X., Ma W., and Yan Y. (2015). Molecular characterization and marker development for hexaploid wheat-specific HMW glutenin subunit 1By18 gene. Molecular Breeding, 35: 221–233.
Long H., Wei Y. M., Yan Z. H., and Baun B. (2005). Classification of wheat low molecular weight glutenin subunit genes and its chromosome assignment by developing LMWGS group-specific primers. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 111: 1251–1259.
Long H., Huang Z., Wei Y. M., Yan Z. H., Ma Z. C., and Zheng Y. L. (2008). Length variation of i-type low molecular weight glutenin subunit genes in diploid wheats. Russian Journal of Genetics, 44(4): 429–435.
Masci S., Lew E. J. L., Lawandra D., Porceddu E., and Kasarda D. D. (1995). Characterization of low molecular weight glutenin subunits in durum wheat by RP-HPLC and N-terminal sequencing. Cereal Chemistry, 72: 100–104.
Masci S., Ovidio R., Lafiandra D., and Kasarda D. D. (1998). Characterization of a low molecular weight glutenin subunit gene from bread wheat and the corresponding protein that represents a major subunit of the glutenin polymer. Plant Physiology, 118: 1147–1158.
Masci S., Rovelli L., Kasarda D. D., Vensel W. H., and Lafiandra D. (2002). Characterization and chromosomal localization of C-type low molecular weight glutenin subunits in the bread wheat cultivar Chinese Spring. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 104: 422–428.
Morgunov A. I., Pena R. J., Crossa J., and Rajam S. (1993). Worldwide distribution of Glu-1 alleles in bread wheat. Journal of Genetics and Breeding, 47: 53–60.
Nei M. (1973). Analysis of gene diversity in subdivided populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 70: 3321–3323.
Payne P. I., Corfield K. G., Holt L. M., and Blackman J. A. (1981). Correlation between the inheritance of certain high molecular weight subunit of glutenin and bread-making quality in progenies of six crosses of bread wheat. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 32: 51–60.
Payne P. I., and Lawrence C. J. (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 Research Communications, 11: 29–35.
Payne P. I., and Jackson E. A. (1984). Genetic linkage between endosperm storage protein genes on each of the short arms of chromosomes 1A and 1B in wheat. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 67: 235–243.
Payne P. I., Nightinale M. A., Krattiger A. F., and Holt L. M. (1987). The relationship between HMW glutenin subunit composition and the bred-making quality of British grown wheat varieties. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 40: 51–65.
Perron C. E., Lukow O. M., and Townley-Smith F. (1998). The use of doubled haploids to investigate the effect of endosperm proteins on dough mixing and baking properties. In: Proceedings of 9th International Wheat Genetics Symposium, University Extension Press, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, 248–250.
Rogers W. J., Payne P. I., and Harinder K. (1989). The HMW glutenin subunit and gliadin compositions of German grown wheat varieties and their relationship with bread-making quality. Plant Breeding, 103: 89–100.
Shewry P. R., Halford N. G., and Tatham A. S. (1992). High molecular weight subunits of wheat glutenin. Journal of Cereal Science, 15: 105–120.
Shewry P. R., and Tatham A. S. (1997). Disulphide bonds in wheat gluten proteins. Journal of Cereal Science, 25: 207–227.
Tao H. P., and Kasarda D. D. (1989). Two-dimensional gel mapping and N-terminal sequencing of LMW-glutenin subunits. Journal of Experimental Biology, 40: 1015–1020.
Tahir M., and Lafiandra D. (1994). Assessment of genetic variability in hexaploid wheat landraces of Pakistan based on polymorphism for HMW-glutenin subunits. In: Biochemical Evaluation of Plant Fenetic Resources, Final Technical Report, Dept. of Agrobiology and Agrobiochemistry, Universityof Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy, 33–44.
Weegels P. L., Hamer R. J., and Schofield J. D. (1996). Functional properties of wheat glutenin. Cereal Science, 23: 1–17.
Wang Y., Zhen S., Luo N., Han C., Lu X., Li X., Xia X., He Z., and Yan, Y. (2016). Low molecular weight glutenin subunit gene Glu-B3h confers superior dough strength and breadmaking quality in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Scientific Reports, 6: 1038–1049.
Wang Z. Q., Long H., Zheng Y. L., Yan Z. H., Wei Y. M., and Lan X. J. (2005). Cloning and analysis of LMW-GS genes from Triticum aestevum ssp. Tibetanum Shao. Acta Genetica Sinica, 32: 86–93.
Wang L., Zhao X., He Z., and Xia X. (2008). Characterization of low molecular weight glutenin subunit genes at Glu-B3 and GluD3 loci and development of functional markers in common wheat. In: Proceedings of the 11th International Wheat Genetics Symposium, Sydney University, 154–166.
Xu H., Wang R. J., Shen X., Zhao Y. L., Sun G. L., Zhao H. X., and Guo A. G. (2006). Functional properties of a new low molecular weight glutenin subunit gene from a bread wheat cultivar. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 113: 1295–1303.
Zhen S., Han C., Ma C., Gu A., Zhang M., Shen X., Li X., and Yan Y. (2014). Deletion of the low-molecular-weight glutenin subunit allele Glu-A3a of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) significantly reduces dough strength and breadmaking quality. BMC Plant Biology, 14: 367–384.