It is very important to share materials to unify nomenclature among research groups. However, it is not always possible to obtain cultivars representing Glu-3 alleles listed in Catalogue of Gene Symbols for Wheat (McIntosh et al. 2013). Therefore, we need to establish a system to share materials internationally. We propose to deposit cultivars representing particular alleles in public gene banks (e.g. Germplasm bank in CIMMYT, Genebank in VIR in Russia, NBRP in Japan, and GRIN in the USA). The registered alleles will be available publicly through these gene banks. New alleles can be evaluated by curators of the Catalogue and other researchers for registration in the catalogue. This system also helps to refine the catalogue (Fig. 31.1). At present CIMMYT Genebank performs seed multiplication of a Glu-3 common wheat master set.
It is also important to use common methods to identify Glu-3 alleles. For SDSPAGE, Peña proposed the use of separation gels containing Tris buffer of pH 8.5 instead of pH 8.8 for better separation of LMW-GS bands (Ikeda et al. 2008; Peña et al. 2004). Lowering bis-acrylamide concentration and using larger size gels also helps better separation (Branlard et al. 2003). Further evaluation for creating a standard SDS-PAGE method is necessary. For PCR markers, as the number of known alleles increases, we need to reconfirm the usefulness of PCR markers to identify Glu-3 alleles. For example, a PCR primer set, which was developed to identify the Glu-B3i allele (Wang et al. 2009), identified the Glu-B3ad allele instead. It is necessary to select a standard PCR primer set to identify Glu-3 alleles.
Fig. 31.1 A new system to share materials for gluten analysis
Functional Analysis of Gluten Proteins
By sharing materials and methods among international research groups, it becomes possible to define better the relationship between specific gluten proteins and processing quality stability, even under heat or drought stress wheat growing conditions. We will set an international framework to evaluate allelic effects on quality attributes under various environmental conditions.
Unification with Durum Glu-3 Alleles
Durum Glu-3 alleles were classified independently of those of common wheat (Martinez et al. 2004; Nieto-Taladriz et al. 1997). In the Catalogue, the durum Glu-3 alleles were originally assigned separately and subsequently combined into one provisional list. Since tetraploid durum wheat shares common ancestral species with common wheat, we would expect some alleles to be identical to those of common wheat. We shared standard cultivars and studied Glu-3 alleles by SDSPAGE, 2-DE and PCR. Some alleles seemed to share the same alleles with common wheat, but some were unique in durum wheat (data not shown). This means that durum allele might widen the genetic diversity of common wheat alleles, and vice versa. Further analysis is necessary to clarify durum Glu-3 alleles and produce a definitive list in the Catalogue for use by the wheat community. This is also important for Glu-1 alleles.
Gliadin consists of α/β/γ/ω-gliadins, which contain many proteins having a range of molecular weights and pI values. Variation in the gliadins also effects dough properties (Branlard and Dardevet 1994). Gliadins are also known to contain epitopes
involved in wheat gluten related disorders (Sapone et al. 2012). Gliadin analysis was mainly carried out using A-PAGE. The analysis of gliadin proteins using SDSPAGE allows the determination of the banding patterns associated with the close linkage existing between Gli-1 and Glu-3, and, therefore, this approach further contributes to the identification of specific Glu-3 LMW-GS in both common and durum wheat. With increasing genome sequence data availability, it is important to identify gliadins by proteomic techniques to clarify correspondence between gliadin proteins, the epitopes of allergen and coding genes (Juhasz et al. 2012).
Forming an International Gluten Research Group
To carry out these tasks, we propose to form an international gluten research group. Using the same materials under different environmental conditions makes it possible to evaluate the effects of Glu-3 alleles on dough properties in such conditions. From this collaboration, we can share advanced knowledge of gluten function for further study, accelerating the development of new cultivars maintaining good quality under climate change and responding to quality demands from industries and consumers (Fig. 31.2). It is also possible to use gluten protein alleles for cultivar identification to protect breeder's rights.
The field of gluten research overlaps other wheat quality related fields, e.g. allergy, nutrition and carbohydrates. Therefore, it is logical to attempt extending our collaboration to other researchers related to wheat quality. Currently we work to form a wheat quality expert working group under the Wheat Initiative ( wheatinitiative.org/about/expert-working-groups). We would like to invite other colleagues related to wheat quality to join our collaboration.
Fig. 31.2 Objectives and targets for forming an international gluten research group