Molecular Structure and Physicochemical Properties of Starches from Rice with Different Amylose Contents Resulting from Modification of OsGBSSI Activity

OsGBSSI, encoded by the Waxy (Wx) gene, is the key enzyme in the synthesis of amylose chains. Transgenic rice lines with various GBSSI activities were previously developed via site-directed mutagenesis of the Wx gene in the glutinous cultivar Guanglingxiangnuo (GLXN). In this study, grain morphology, molecular structure, and physicochemical properties were investigated in four transgenic lines with modified OsGBSSI activity and differences in amylose content. A milky opaque appearance was observed in low- and non-amylose rice grains due to air spaces in the starch granules. Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and high-performance anion-exchange chromatography (HPAEC) analyses showed that although OsGBSSI can synthesize intermediate and extra-long amylopectin chains, it is mainly responsible for the longer amylose chains. Amylose content was positively correlated with trough viscosity, final viscosity, setback viscosity, pasting time, pasting temperature, and gelatinization temperature and negatively with gel consistency, breakdown viscosity, gelatinization enthalpy, and crystallinity. Overall, the findings suggest that OsGBSSI may be also involved in amylopectin biosynthesis, in turn affecting grain appearance, thermal and pasting properties, and the crystalline structure of starches in the rice endosperm.