, Volume 88, Issue 1, pp 69–76 | Cite as

Expression of late maturity α-amylase in wheat containing gibberellic acid insensitivity genes

  • Kolumbina Mrva
  • Daryl J. Mares


Two wheat cultivars, Spica and Lerma 52, which consistently produce high levels of α-amylase during the later stages of grain development (late maturity α-amylase), were crossed with a set of four near-isogenic lines carrying the tall (rht) allele or one of the dwarfing genes Rht1, Rht2 or Rht3 (GA-insensitive alleles). The F1 and F2 populations were developed and analysed for grain α-amylase and plant height. The Rht3 gene exhibited the strongest influence on plant height and strongly inhibited new α-amylase synthesis during the later part of grain ripening. By comparison, Rht1 and Rht2 had a less pronounced effect but still significantly reduced the expression of late maturity α-amylase. These observations suggest that gibberellic acid is involved either directly or indirectly in this phenomenon. The implications of the effect of dwarfing genes on expression of late maturity α-amylase are discussed in relation to cultivar improvement and to the identification and control of high α-amylase germplasm.

Key words

dwarfing genes late maturity α-amylase gibberellic acid insensitivity wheat Triticum aestivum 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Flintham, J.E. & M.D. Gale, 1982. The Tom Thumb dwarfing gene, Rht3, in wheat. I. Reduced preharvest sprouting damage to bread-making quality. Theor. Appl. Genet. 62: 121–126.Google Scholar
  2. Gale, M.D., C.N. Law, G.A. Marshall & A.J. Worland, 1975. The genetic control of gibberellic acid insensitivity and coleoptile length in a ‘dwarf wheat’. Heredity 34: 393–399.Google Scholar
  3. Gale, M.D. & J.R. Lenton, 1987. Pre-harvest sprouting in wheat — a complex genetic and physiological problem affecting breadmaking quality of U.K. wheats. In. Aspects of Applied Biology. The Association of Applied Biologists, U.K. 15: 115–124.Google Scholar
  4. Gale, M.D., A.M. Salter, F.C. Curtis & W.J. Angus, 1988. The exploitation of the Tom Thumb dwarfing gene, Rht3, in F1 hybrids wheats. In: Semi-Dwarf Cereal Mutants and Their Use in Cross Breeding. II. Proceedings of the Final IAO/IAEA Research Coordination Meeting. Rome, Dec. 1987. IAEA/TECDOC 455, pp. 57–68.Google Scholar
  5. HGCA 1977/1988. The quality of wheat and barley from the (1977–1988) harvest. Annual Grain Quality Survey, Home Grown Cereals Authority, London, U.K.Google Scholar
  6. Gale, M.D., A.M. Salter & J.R. Lenton, 1987. The induction of germination α-amylase during wheat grain development in unfavourable conditions. In: D.J. Mares (Ed.), Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Pre-Harvest Sprouting in Cereals. Westview Press, Boulder, Co., USA. pp. 273–282.Google Scholar
  7. Mares, D.J. & M.D. Gale, 1990. Control of alphα-amylase synthesis in wheat grains. In: K. Ringlund, E. Mosleth & D.J. Mares (Eds), Proceedings of the Fifth International Symposium on Pre-harvest Sprouting in Cereals. Westview Press, Boulder, Co., pp. 183–194.Google Scholar
  8. Mares, D.J. & K. Mrva, 1993. Late maturity α-amylase in wheat. In: M.K. Walker-Simmons & J.L. Reid (Eds), Proodings of the Sixth International Symposium on Pre-Harvest Sprouting in Cereals. AACC. St. Paul, Mn., USA. pp. 178–164.Google Scholar
  9. Mrva, K. & D.J. Mares, 1995. Inheritance of Late Maturity α-Amylase in Wheat. Euphytica (in press).Google Scholar
  10. Mares, D.J., K. Mrva & J.F. Panozzo, 1994. Characterization of the high α-amylase in grain of the wheat cultivar, BD 159. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 45: 1003–1011.Google Scholar
  11. McCleary, B. & H. Sheehan, 1989. Measurement of cereal α-amylase: A new assay procedure. J. Cereal Sci. 6: 237–251.Google Scholar
  12. Nishikawa, K. & Y. Watanabe, 1988. Change in activity of α-amylase in developing and germinating wheat seed. In: T.E. Miller & R.M.D. Koebner (Eds), Proceedings of the Seventh International Wheat Genetics Symposium. Cambridge, England. pp. 597–602.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kolumbina Mrva
    • 1
  • Daryl J. Mares
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Breeding InstituteUniversity of SydneyNarrabriAustralia

Personalised recommendations