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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Hurkman Ii, William
item Mccue, Kent
item Altenbach, Susan
item Korn, Anna
item Tanaka, Charlene
item Kothari, Kerry
item Bechtel, Donald
item Wilson, Jeff
item Anderson, Olin
item Dupont, Frances

Submitted to: Plant Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/6/2003
Publication Date: 5/1/2003
Citation: Hurkman, W.J., Mc Cue, K.F., Altenbach, S.B., Korn, A.M., Tanaka, C.K., Kothari, K.M., Bechtel, D.B., Wilson, J.D., Anderson, O.D., Dupont, F.M. 2003. Effect of temperature on expression of genes encoding enzymes for starch biosynthesis in developing wheat endosperm. Plant Science. 164(5):873-881.

Interpretive Summary: High temperature during grain-fill reduces yield in wheat (Triticum aestivum). The reduction in yield is caused by a decrease in total starch content of the grain. In this paper, the effect of high temperature on starch accumulation, the relative number and volume of starch grains, and the expression of key genes for the starch biosynthetic pathway were examined during grain development. Maximum starch weight was attained earlier in grain of plants grown under high temperatures and total starch weight was much less in the mature grain. High temperatures also changed the relative number and volume of the three different starch granule size classes found in the grain. Messenger RNA levels for starch biosynthetic enzymes peaked early in development and decreased substantially, especially the messenger RNA for soluble starch synthase. These findings demonstrate that high temperatures influence not only starch synthesis, but also the overall developmental program for grain development.

Technical Abstract: The effect of high temperature on starch accumulation, starch granule populations, and expression of genes encoding key enzymes for starch biosynthesis was examined during grain development in wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Butte 86). High temperature applied from anthesis to maturity reduced the duration of starch accumulation. Starch accumulation ceased approx. 6 days earlier for grain produced under a 37/17°C (day/night) regimen and 21 days earlier under a 37/28°C (day/night) regimen than for grain produced under a 24/17°C (day/night) regimen. Compared to the 24/17°C regimen, starch content was approx. 19% less for mature grain produced under the 37/17°C regimen and 58% less under the 37/28°C regimen. The smaller type B starch granules were the predominant class in mature grain produced under the 24/17°C and 37/17°C regimens, based on relative volume, whereas the larger type A granules were predominant in grain produced under the 37/28°C regimen. Under the 24/17°C regimen, steady state transcript levels for ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase, starch synthases I, II, and III, granule-bound starch synthase, and starch branching enzymes I and II were highest from 12-16 days post-anthesis (dpa). Under the 37/17°C regimen, steady state levels of these transcripts followed the same temporal pattern, but were substantially lower. Under the 37/28°C regimen, transcript levels peaked earlier, at 7 dpa. The high temperature regimens reduced the relative levels of transcripts for starch synthase more than the other starch biosynthetic enzymes.

Last Modified: 07/26/2017
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