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    Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima Blume) is native to China and distributes widely in arid and semi-arid mountain area with barren soil. As a perennial crop, chestnut is an alternative food source and acts as an important commercial nut tree in China. Starch is the major metabolite in nuts, accounting for 46 ~ 64% of the chestnut dry weight. The accumulation of total starch and amylopectin showed a similar increasing trend during the development of nut. Amylopectin contributed up to 76% of the total starch content at 80 days after pollination (DAP). The increase of total starch mainly results from amylopectin synthesis. Among genes associated with starch biosynthesis, CmSBEs (starch branching enzyme) showed significant increase during nut development. Two starch branching enzyme isoforms, CmSBE I and CmSBE II, were identified from chestnut cotyledon using zymogram analysis. CmSBE I and CmSBE II showed similar patterns of expression during nut development. The accumulations of CmSBE transcripts and proteins in developing cotyledons were characterized. The expressions of two CmSBE genes increased from 64 DAP and reached the highest levels at 77 DAP, and SBE activity reached its peak at 74 DAP. These results suggested that the CmSBE enzymes mainly contributed to amylopectin synthesis and influenced the amylopectin content in the developing cotyledon, which would be beneficial to chestnut germplasm selection and breeding.


    Liangke Chen, Dan Lu, Teng Wang, Zhi Li, Yanyan Zhao, Yichen Jiang, Qing Zhang, Qingqin Cao, Kefeng Fang, Yu Xing, Ling Qin. Identification and expression analysis of starch branching enzymes involved in starch synthesis during the development of chestnut (Castanea mollissima Blume) cotyledons. PloS one. 2017;12(5):e0177792

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    PMID: 28542293

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