The specific objectives of this project are:
1) Apply molecular biology and genetic engineering to wheat high-molecular-weight (HMW) glutenin class seed storage protein genes to understand the molecular bases of their contributions to wheat quality and utilization,
2) Determine the structure and variability of wheat quality-related genetic loci and contribute to the understanding of the organization of the wheat genome, and
3) Develop gene expression profiles across wheat seed development and changes in storage protein gene activity and wheat quality.
This project contributes strongly to National Program 301, Plant, Microbial, and Insect Germplasm, Conservation, and Development (60%) and NP 302, Plant Biological and Molecular Processes (40%). This project is moving into the area of functional genomics and the development of resources to address issues on wheat improvement. In addition, the scope and wide applicability of genomics technologies can benefit many aspects of plant research. Thus, the genomics development portion of this project is contributing to all other Programs that involve, or depend on, genetic or molecular data, gene mapping, and germplasm identification and management, i.e., National Programs 303 (Plant Diseases), 304 (Crop Protection and Quarantine), 306 (Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products), 307 (Bioenergy and Energy Alternatives), and 107 (Human Nutrition).
Partnerships are also in development to characterize specific wheat gene loci and to design wheat DNA microarrays for the studies of gene expression in small grains.