Epigenetic factors identified as key to preventing loss of wheat caused by rain and high humidity (and should lead to better beer
The global wheat industry sometimes loses as much as $1 billion a year because prolonged rainfall and high humidity contribute to grains germinating before they are fully mature. The result is both a lower yield of wheat and grains of inferior quality. This phenomenon, known as pre-harvest sprouting or PHS, has such important economic repercussions for farmers around the world that scientists have been working on finding a solution to the problem for at least a couple of decades. Their focus has been on genetic factors, and on the interaction between genotypes and the environment as they have tried to breed wheat that is resistant to PHS, but with little success so far.
But now, findings by a McGill team suggest that the solution may lie not with genetics alone, but rather with a combination of genetic and epigenetic factors. The team, led by Prof. Jaswinder Singh of McGill’s Department of Plant Science, has identified a key gene that acts as a switch to determine how a particular plant will respond to high humidity and excess rainfall by either germinating early (PHS) or not. This switch is to be found in a key gene, ARGONAUTE4_9, in the “RNA dependent DNA Methylation” pathway (RdDM).
“The complex RdDM machinery is composed of several proteins that guide the genome in response to growth, developmental and stress signals. It’s a bit like the plant’s brain,” says Singh. “Although in the past scientists have identified it as the pathway that regulates the way a variety of genes are expressed, until now no one had made the link with PHS.”
The McGill team made the discovery by using a variety of genomic and molecular tools to identify specific ARGONAUTE4_9 genes, and then compare the way that these genes are expressed in PHS resistant versus PHS susceptible varieties of wheat.
“This discovery is important for other cereals like barley as well as for wheat,” said Surinder Singh, a Ph.D. student and one of the authors of this study, currently working in Professor Singh’s laboratory. “This means that not only should we be able to avoid the ugly bread and sticky crumbs produced by PHS wheat in future, we should also end up with better beer. “
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Leafy Greens STEC Action Plan - Accomplishmentson April 6, 2021 at 6:22 pm
On March 15, 2019 the FDA extended the compliance dates for the agricultural water requirements for non-sprout covered produce ... feasibility of implementing pre-harvest best management ...
- Send content toon April 6, 2021 at 5:00 pm
To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to ...
- Research Programs and Projects at this Locationon April 3, 2021 at 5:00 pm
ARS research is organized into National Programs. Within each National Program are research projects. Listed below are the National Programs and research projects currently conducted at this location.
- Q&A: Researchers make progress on new tests for starch quality in wheaton March 26, 2021 at 9:49 am
Low falling numbers can be caused by pre-harvest sprouting due to rain or by late maturity alpha-amylase occurring as a result of large temperature fluctuations during late grain filling. Cannon and ...
- Journal of plant physiologyon March 10, 2021 at 4:00 pm
The varied ability of grains to synthesize and catabolize ABA is one of the factors affecting dormancy and its release by after-ripening in imbibed triticale grains of cultivars with different pre ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Fun things to safely do in Philly this weekendon March 31, 2021 at 10:34 am
theboursephilly.com PHS Pop-Up Garden on South Street The Pennsylvania ... the Pop Up Gardens will feature 16 options with a variety of IPAs, ciders, wheat beers and sour beers, with craft beer ...
- Spring fashion: Pop-up gardens are bloomingon March 26, 2021 at 3:43 pm
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) is opening gardens in Manayunk ... Log Yard Blueberry Shandy, IPAs, ciders, wheat beers and sour beers. Plus wine and non-alcoholic options.
- Horticulture Society Opening Pop Up Garden Restaurant In Manayunkon March 18, 2021 at 12:50 pm
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) will open its Manayunk garden ... will feature 16 options with a variety of IPAs, ciders, wheat beers, sour beers, and more. Craft beer selections ...
- Pennsylvania Horticultural Society announces return of spirited pop-up gardenson March 18, 2021 at 10:20 am
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) recently announced the return ... will feature 16 options with a variety of IPAs, ciders, wheat beers and sour beers, with craft beer selections ...
- Coffee, Conspiracy, And Citizen Science: An Introduction To Iodometryon March 16, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Unfortunately, industrially roasted and ground coffee is sometimes adulterated with a variety of unwanted ‘other stuff’: corn, soybeans, wheat husks, etc. Across Southeast Asia, there’s a ...