Starch synthesis and grain filling in wheat

G.W. Singletary

Trait and Technology Department, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., P.O. Box 1004, Johnston, Iowa, USA

Wheat is the most widely produced cereal in the world. The formation and characteristics of the grain are largely a function of starch biosynthesis. The starch is composed of granules with distinct class sizes, properties and patterns of occurrence within the spike. Deposition of the starch is influenced by factors related to endosperm cell number, assimilate availability and high temperature, to name a few. Its biosynthesis is controlled directly by several enzymes, many of whose genes have been isolated, that have greater or lesser degrees of importance ascribed to them. Many specifics of starch metabolism, its regulation by external controls, and relation to grain filling in wheat are described herein.

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