The cultivated bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) possesses unique flour quality, which can be processed into many end-use food products such as bread, pasta, chapatti (unleavened flat bread), biscuit, etc. The present wheat varieties require improvement in processing quality to meet the increasing demand of better quality food products. However, processing quality is very complex and controlled by many genes, which have not been completely explored. To identify the candidate genes whose expressions changed due to variation in processing quality and interaction (quality x development), genome-wide transcriptome studies were performed in two sets of diverse Indian wheat varieties differing for chapatti quality. It is also important to understand the temporal and spatial distributions of their expressions for designing tissue and growth specific functional genomics experiments.
Gene-specific two-way ANOVA analysis of expression of about 55 K transcripts in two diverse sets of Indian wheat varieties for chapatti quality at three seed developmental stages identified 236 differentially expressed probe sets (10-fold). Out of 236, 110 probe sets were identified for chapatti quality. Many processing quality related key genes such as glutenin and gliadins, puroindolines, grain softness protein, alpha and beta amylases, proteases, were identified, and many other candidate genes related to cellular and molecular functions were also identified. The ANOVA analysis revealed that the expression of 56 of 110 probe sets was involved in interaction (quality x development). Majority of the probe sets showed differential expression at early stage of seed development i.e. temporal expression. Meta-analysis revealed that the majority of the genes expressed in one or a few growth stages indicating spatial distribution of their expressions. The differential expressions of a few candidate genes such as pre-alpha/beta-gliadin and gamma gliadin were validated by RT-PCR. Therefore, this study identified several quality related key genes including many other genes, their interactions (quality x development) and temporal and spatial distributions.
The candidate genes identified for processing quality and information on temporal and spatial distributions of their expressions would be useful for designing wheat improvement programs for processing quality either by changing their expression or development of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) markers.