Starch Granule Re-Structuring by Starch Branching Enzyme and Glucan Water Dikinase Modulation Affects Caryopsis Physiology and Metabolism

Shahnoor S. Shaik, Toshihiro Obata, Kim H Hebelstrup, Kevin Schwahn, Alisdair R. Fernie, Ramona Valentina Mateiu, Andreas Blennow, Joerg Fettke (Editor)

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    Starch is of fundamental importance for plant development and reproduction and its optimized molecular assembly is potentially necessary for correct starch metabolism. Re-structuring of starch granules in-planta can therefore potentially affect plant metabolism. Modulation of granule micro-structure was achieved by decreasing starch branching and increasing starch-bound phosphate content in the barley caryopsis starch by RNAi suppression of all three Starch Branching Enzyme (SBE) isoforms or overexpression of potato Glucan Water Dikinase (GWD). The resulting lines displayed Amylose-Only (AO) and Hyper-Phosphorylated (HP) starch chemotypes, respectively. We studied the influence of these alterations on primary metabolism, grain composition, starch structural features and starch granule morphology over caryopsis development at 10, 20 and 30 days after pollination (DAP) and at grain maturity. While HP showed relatively little effect, AO showed significant reduction in starch accumulation with re-direction to protein and β-glucan (BG) accumulation. Metabolite profiling indicated significantly higher sugar accumulation in AO, with re-partitioning of carbon to accumulate amino acids, and interestingly it also had high levels of some important stress-related metabolites and potentially protective metabolites, possibly to elude deleterious effects. Investigations on starch molecular structure revealed significant increase in starch phosphate and amylose content in HP and AO respectively with obvious differences in starch granule morphology at maturity. The results demonstrate that decreasing the storage starch branching resulted in metabolic adjustments and re-directions, tuning to evade deleterious effects on caryopsis physiology and plant performance while only little effect was evident by increasing starch-bound phosphate as a result of overexpressing GWD.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere0149613
    JournalP L o S One
    Issue number2
    Number of pages21
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Bibliographical note

    © 2016 Shaik et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License


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