近日， 在线发表上海交通大学王文琴研究组题为“The Genetic Architecture of Amylose Biosynthesis in Maize Kernel” 的研究论文。该研究通过全基因组关联分析系统研究了玉米籽粒中表型直链淀粉的含量与单核苷酸多态性的基因型的连锁研究，筛选出了与直链淀粉合成相关的关联SNPs以及有潜力的候选基因，为遗传调控研究玉米淀粉含量和品质改良提供了重要线索。
Starch is the most abundant storage carbohydrate in maize kernel. The content of amylose and amylopectin confers unique properties in food processing and industrial application. Thus, the resurgent interest has been switched to the study of individual amylose or amylopectin rather than total starch, whereas the enzymatic machinery for amylose synthesis remains elusive.We took advantage of the phenotype of amylose content and the genotype of 9,007,194 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 454 inbred maize lines. The genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified 27 associated loci involving 39 candidate genes that were linked to amylose content including transcription factors, glycosyltransferases, glycosidases, as well as hydrolases.Except the waxy gene that encodes the granule-bound starch synthase (GBSS), the remaining candidate genes were located in the upstream pathway of amylose synthesis, while the downstream members were already known from prior studies. The linked candidate genes could be transferred to manipulate amylose content and thus add value to maize kernel in the breeding program.