Submitted to: Journal of Cereal Science
Publication Type: Review article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/20/2003
Publication Date: 1/20/2004
Citation: DUPONT, F.M., ALTENBACH, S.B. MOLECULAR AND BIOCHEMICAL IMPACTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS ON WHEAT GRAIN DEVELOPMENT AND PROTEIN SYNTHESIS. JOURNAL OF CEREAL SCIENCE.2003 v38 (2) p. 133 - 146. Interpretive Summary: Wheat is one of the primary grains consumed by humans and is grown around the world in diverse environments, from cool rain-fed to hot dry-land areas. Productivity and quality vary considerably as a result of environmental conditions during grain-fill. Yield is a major concern for wheat growers, while millers and bakers cite variability in the functional properties of flour as one of their biggest problems. Despite years of research, there remain critical gaps in our understanding of factors controlling yield and quality. This review summarizes current information on the effects of temperature, fertilizer and water on wheat grain development, and explores how the physical environment affects the underlying patterns of gene expression that regulate grainfill. If information on wheat was not available, studies of barley, rice or maize were discussed. The review discusses effects of environment on rate and duration of grain fill and gene expression during grain fill with an emphasis on protein and starch accumulation in the starchy endosperm. The review discusses how the new techniques of proteomics and genomics will be used to identify patterns of expression for large numbers of proteins and genes during grain development, and how this information will be used to discover key regulatory processes that are affected by the environment.
Technical Abstract: Wheat grain yield and flour quality are strongly influenced by the effects of environment during grain fill. Environmental variables such as temperature, water and fertilizer influence the rate and duration of wheat grain development, protein accumulation and starch deposition in unique ways. The effects of environment are superimposed on the intrinsic temporal patterns of gene expression during grain development. Integration of genomic and proteomic studies with developmental studies under controlled environmental conditions should make it possible to resolve complex patterns of gene expression during grain development, pinpoint key regulatory processes that are influenced by the environment, and reveal the molecular basis for environmental impacts on flour composition and quality.