Authors: JOHN SNAPE, LESLEY FISH, DAVID LEADER, ROBERT BRADBURNE, ADRIAN TURNER
Abstract: This paper discusses how genetic and genomic tools may be used to understand the genetical and molecular control of cereal quality and to develop tools for its manipulation by conventional and genetic engineering approaches. Comprehensive genetic maps are a first step in the genetical and molecular analysis of traits and these now allow the dissection of the genetical control of complex traits. As an example, data on the genetical control of grain protein content in UK winter wheats is presented. From a series of field trials, several potentially useful new QTLs were identified on chromosomes 2B, 5D, 6A, 6B, 7A which can be targets for marker-assisted selection. Expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and cDNA microarrays identify candidate genes involved in differences in quality and a means for understanding the molecular control of endosperm development. This paper gives data on the use of micro-arrays for identifying differential expression of genes during early endosperm development. Genetic engineering provides a complementary tool to conventional breeding for cereal quality modification, and the prospects and problems of applying the technology for wheat end-use quality improvement are discussed.
Keywords: genetics, genomics, wheat, quality, transcriptomics
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