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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » Cereal Crops Research » Research » Research Project #434646

Research Project: Biochemical Pathways and Molecular Networks Involved in Seed Development, Germination and Stress Resilience in Barley and Oat

Location: Cereal Crops Research

Project Number: 5090-21430-011-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: May 9, 2018
End Date: May 8, 2023

Objective 1: Identify and characterize germplasm for barley malt production in suboptimal environmental conditions. Sub-objective 1.1: Barley will be assessed for resilience to combined heat and drought stress. Sub-objective 1.2: Assess the impact of abiotic stress on malting quality. Sub-objective 1.3: SNP genotyping of barley lines using Illumina chips and Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS). Objective 2: Identify molecular networks associated with malting, and functionally characterize known and putative genes with the potential to improve malt quality. Sub-objective 2.1a: Determine the transcriptome and the miRNAs involved in regulating the transcriptome in malting barley. Sub-objective 2.2: Analyze proteome changes during various stages of barley malting. Sub-objective 2.3: Integrate transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and proteomic changes during various stages of malting. Sub-objective 2.4: Functionally characterize the putative malting quality genes Bmy2 and DPE1. Sub-Objective 2.5: Characterize the molecular mechanisms of barley lys3a and determine how its function regulates malting quality genes. Objective 3: Determine biochemical or physiological roles of metabolites in barley and oat. Sub-objective 3.1: Identify abiotic stress-induced seed solutes in malting barley. Sub-objective 3.2: Determine if stress-induced seed solutes function as osmoprotectant molecules to hydrolytic enzymes during mashing.

Objective 1. Accessions from the barley mini-core collection, the Vavilov collection, and selected pre-prohibition and modern elite malting barley cultivars will be grown under optimal and abiotic stress conditions. Evaluation of selected tolerant lines will be for a variety of physical traits including biomass and seed yield, physiological traits such as photosynthesis, transpiration, respiration, stomatal conductance and a variety of malting quality traits including standard metrics of quality plus mashing performance. SNP genotyping of the mini-core collection will aid in GWAS for identification of malting quality and abiotic stress associated QTLs. Objective 2. Changes in the transcriptome, miRNAome and the proteome during malting of selected lines will be evaluated. Omics data from these multiple high throughput platforms will be integrated to develop a systems model of the genetic and biochemical pathways involved in the barley malting process. Genetic confirmation of key genes and proteins associated with malting quality and/or abiotic stress tolerance will be conducted via transformation, CRISPER/Cas or via TILLING populations. Barley lys3.a mutants will be evaluated during grain development to determine the mechanism of action on malting quality genes and to identify the causal gene. Select malting quality genes will be evaluated in modern elite malting cultivars during malting. Objective 3. Stress induced metabolites present in malts and rendered soluble during mashing will be chromatographically separated, then detected and identified by mass spectrometry. Resource spectral databases used for identification will include NIST, Flavor and Fragrances and our in-house authentic compound database. Metabolites identified that are commercially available will be used in relevant concentrations to determine if they affect the activity and thermostability of key enzymes involved in the production of fermentable sugars during high temperature mashing.