Identification of Low Molecular Weight Glutenin Alleles by Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) in Common Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).PLoS One. 2015; 10(9):e0138981.Plos
Low molecular weight glutenin subunits (LMW-GS) play an important role in determining dough properties and breadmaking quality. However, resolution of the currently used methodologies for analyzing LMW-GS is rather low which prevents an efficient use of genetic variations associated with these alleles in wheat breeding. The aim of the current study is to evaluate and develop a rapid, simple, and accurate method to differentiate LMW-GS alleles using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. A set of standard single LMW-GS allele lines as well as a suite of well documented wheat cultivars were collected from France, CIMMYT, and Canada. Method development and optimization were focused on protein extraction procedures and MALDI-TOF instrument settings to generate reproducible diagnostic spectrum peak profiles for each of the known wheat LMW-GS allele. Results revealed a total of 48 unique allele combinations among the studied genotypes. Characteristic MALDI-TOF peak patterns were obtained for 17 common LMW-GS alleles, including 5 (b, a or c, d, e, f), 7 (a, b, c, d or i, f, g, h) and 5 (a, b, c, d, f) patterns or alleles for the Glu-A3, Glu-B3, and Glu-D3 loci, respectively. In addition, some reproducible MALDI-TOF peak patterns were also obtained that did not match with any known alleles. The results demonstrated a high resolution and throughput nature of MALDI-TOF technology in analyzing LMW-GS alleles, which is suitable for application in wheat breeding programs in processing a large number of wheat lines with high accuracy in limited time. It also suggested that the variation of LMW-GS alleles is more abundant than what has been defined by the current nomenclature system that is mainly based on SDS-PAGE system. The MALDI-TOF technology is useful to differentiate these variations. An international joint effort may be needed to assign allele symbols to these newly identified alleles and determine their effects on end-product quality attributes.