Improving wheat to remove coeliac epitopes but retain functionality
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Coeliac disease is an intolerance triggered by the ingestion of wheat gluten proteins. It is of increasing concern to consumers and health professionals as its incidence appears to be increasing. The amino acid sequences in gluten proteins that are responsible for triggering responses in sensitive individuals have been identified showing that they vary in distribution among and between different groups of gluten proteins. Conventional breeding may therefore be used to select for gluten protein fractions with lower contents of coeliac epitopes. Molecular breeding approaches can also be used to specifically down-regulate coeliac-toxic proteins or mutate coeliac epitopes within individual proteins. A combination of these approaches may therefore be used to develop a “coeliac-safe” wheat. However, this remains a formidable challenge due to the complex multigenic control of gluten protein composition. Furthermore, any modified wheats must retain acceptable properties for making bread and other processed foods. Not surprisingly, such coeliac-safe wheats have not yet been developed despite over a decade of research.
Journal of Cereal Science
Shewry, P.R. & Tatham, A.S. (2015) 'Improving wheat to remove coeliac epitopes but retain functionality', Journal of Cereal Science 67, pp. 12-21.
This article was published in Journal of Cereal Science on 26 June 2015 (online), available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcs.2015.06.005
RightsCreative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License
Open Access funded by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
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