A pathway-specific microarray analysis highlights the complex and co-ordinated transcriptional networks of the developing grain of field-grown barley

Michael Hansen, Carsten Friis, Steve Bowra, Preben Bach Holm, Eva Vincze

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    Abstract

    The aim of the study was to describe the molecular and biochemical interactions associated with amino acid biosynthesis and storage protein accumulation in the developing grains of field-grown barley. Our strategy was to analyse the transcription of genes associated with the biosynthesis of storage products during the development of field-grown barley grains using a grain-specific microarray assembled in our laboratory. To identify co-regulated genes, a distance matrix was constructed which enabled the identification of three clusters corresponding to early, middle, and late grain development. The gene expression pattern associated with the clusters was investigated using pathway-specific analysis with specific reference to the temporal expression levels of a range of genes involved mainly in the photosynthesis process, amino acid and storage protein metabolism. It is concluded that the grain-specific microarray is a reliable and cost-effective tool for monitoring temporal changes in the transcriptome of the major metabolic pathways in the barley grain. Moreover, it was sensitive enough to monitor differences in the gene expression profiles of different homologues from the storage protein families. The study described here should provide a strong complement to existing knowledge assisting further understanding of grain development and thereby provide a foundation for plant breeding towards storage proteins with improved nutritional quality.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
    Volume60
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)153-167
    ISSN0022-0957
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Keywords

    • Hordeum vulgare
    • Amino acid metabolism
    • field trial
    • cDNA microarray
    • hordein
    • storage proteins

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