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Mutation in the seed storage protein kafirin creates a high-value food trait in sorghum.

Authors
  • Wu, Yongrui1
  • Yuan, Lingling
  • Guo, Xiaomei
  • Holding, David R
  • Messing, Joachim
  • 1 Waksman Institute of Microbiology, Rutgers University, 190 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA. , (Jersey)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Nature Communications
Publisher
Springer Nature
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2013
Volume
4
Pages
2217–2217
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3217
PMID: 23948869
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Sustainable food production for the earth's fast-growing population is a major challenge for breeding new high-yielding crops, but enhancing the nutritional quality of staple crops can potentially offset limitations associated with yield increases. Sorghum has immense value as a staple food item for humans in Africa, but it is poorly digested. Although a mutant exhibiting high-protein digestibility and lysine content has market potential, the molecular nature of the mutation is previously unknown. Here, building on knowledge from maize mutants, we take a direct approach and find that the high-digestible sorghum phenotype is tightly linked to a single-point mutation, rendering the signal peptide of a seed storage protein kafirin resistant to processing, indirectly reducing lysine-poor kafirins and thereby increasing lysine-rich proteins in the seeds. These findings indicate that a molecular marker can be used to accelerate introduction of this high nutrition and digestibility trait into different sorghum varieties.

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