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Association mapping of starch chain length distribution and amylose content in pea (Pisum sativum L.) using carbohydrate metabolism candidate genes

Carpenter, Margaret A., Shaw, Martin, Cooper, Rebecca D., Frew, Tonya J., Butler, Ruth C., Murray, Sarah R., Moya, Leire, Coyne, Clarice J., Timmerman-Vaughan, Gail M.
BMC plant biology 2017 v.17 no.1 pp. 132
Pisum sativum, amylopectin, amylose, biochemical pathways, branching, carbohydrate metabolism, carbohydrate structure, chromosome mapping, functional properties, genes, glucose, kinship, linear models, loci, peas, phenotype, plant breeding, population structure
BACKGROUND: Although starch consists of large macromolecules composed of glucose units linked by α-1,4-glycosidic linkages with α-1,6-glycosidic branchpoints, variation in starch structural and functional properties is found both within and between species. Interest in starch genetics is based on the importance of starch in food and industrial processes, with the potential of genetics to provide novel starches. The starch metabolic pathway is complex but has been characterized in diverse plant species, including pea. RESULTS: To understand how allelic variation in the pea starch metabolic pathway affects starch structure and percent amylose, partial sequences of 25 candidate genes were characterized for polymorphisms using a panel of 92 diverse pea lines. Variation in the percent amylose composition of extracted seed starch and (amylopectin) chain length distribution, one measure of starch structure, were characterized for these lines. Association mapping was undertaken to identify polymorphisms associated with the variation in starch chain length distribution and percent amylose, using a mixed linear model that incorporated population structure and kinship. Associations were found for polymorphisms in seven candidate genes plus Mendel’s r locus (which conditions the round versus wrinkled seed phenotype). The genes with associated polymorphisms are involved in the substrate supply, chain elongation and branching stages of the pea carbohydrate and starch metabolic pathways. CONCLUSIONS: The association of polymorphisms in carbohydrate and starch metabolic genes with variation in amylopectin chain length distribution and percent amylose may help to guide manipulation of pea seed starch structural and functional properties through plant breeding.