High-molecular-weight glutenin subunits (HMW-GS) play an important role for the baking quality of wheat. The ancient wheats emmer and spelt differ in their HMW-GS pattern compared to modern common wheat and this might be one reason for their comparatively poor baking quality. The aim of this study was to elucidate similarities and differences in the amino acid sequences of two 1Bx HMW-GS of common wheat, spelt and emmer. First, the sodium dodecyl polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) system was optimized to separate common wheat, spelt and emmer Bx6 and Bx7 from other HMW-GS (e.g., 1Ax and 1By) in high concentrations. The in-gel digests of the Bx6 and Bx7 bands were analyzed by untargeted LC-MS/MS experiments revealing different UniProtKB accessions in spelt and emmer compared to common wheat. The HMW-GS Bx6 and Bx7, respectively, of emmer and spelt showed differences in the amino acid sequences compared to those of common wheat. The identities of the peptide variations were confirmed by targeted LC-MS/MS. These peptides can be used to differentiate between Bx6 and Bx7 of spelt and emmer and Bx6 and Bx7 of common wheat. The findings should help to increase the reliability and curation status of wheat protein databases and to understand the effects of protein structure on the functional properties.
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