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Low molecular weight glutenin subunits (LWM-GSs) play a crucial role in determining wheat flour processing quality. In this work, 35 novel LMW-GS genes (32 active and three pseudogenes) from three Aegilops umbellulata (2n = 2x = 14, UU) accessions were amplified by allelic-specific PCR. We found that all LMW-GS genes had the same primary structure shared by other known LMW-GSs. Thirty-two active genes encode 31 typical LMW-m-type subunits. The MZ424050 possessed nine cysteine residues with an extra cysteine residue located in the last amino acid residue of the conserved C-terminal III, which could benefit the formation of larger glutenin polymers, and therefore may have positive effects on dough properties. We have found extensive variations which were mainly resulted from single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertions and deletions (InDels) among the LMW-GS genes in Ae. umbellulata. Our results demonstrated that Ae. umbellulata is an important source of LMW-GS variants and the potential value of the novel LMW-GS alleles for wheat quality improvement.
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