A genome wide association scan for (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan content in the grain of contemporary 2-row Spring and Winter barleys.
ABSTRACT: (1,3;1,4)-?-Glucan is an important component of the cell walls of barley grain as it affects processability during the production of alcoholic beverages and has significant human health benefits when consumed above recommended threshold levels. This leads to diametrically opposed quality requirements for different applications as low levels of (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan are required for brewing and distilling and high levels for positive impacts on human health.We quantified grain (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan content in a collection of 399 2-row Spring-type, and 204 2-row Winter-type elite barley cultivars originating mainly from north western Europe. We combined these data with genotypic information derived using a 9 K Illumina iSelect SNP platform and subsequently carried out a Genome Wide Association Scan (GWAS). Statistical analysis accounting for residual genetic structure within the germplasm collection allowed us to identify significant associations between molecular markers and the phenotypic data. By anchoring the regions that contain these associations to the barley genome assembly we catalogued genes underlying the associations. Based on gene annotations and transcript abundance data we identified candidate genes.We show that a region of the genome on chromosome 2 containing a cluster of CELLULOSE SYNTHASE-LIKE (Csl) genes, including CslF3, CslF4, CslF8, CslF10, CslF12 and CslH, as well as a region on chromosome 1H containing CslF9, are associated with the phenotype in this germplasm. We also observed that several regions identified by GWAS contain glycoside hydrolases that are possibly involved in (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan breakdown, together with other genes that might participate in (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan synthesis, re-modelling or regulation. This analysis provides new opportunities for understanding the genes related to the regulation of (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan content in cereal grains.
Project description:The composition of plant cell walls is important in determining cereal end uses. Unlike other widely consumed cereal grains barley is comparatively rich in (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan, a source of dietary fibre. Previous work showed Cellulose synthase-like genes synthesise (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan in several tissues. HvCslF6 encodes a grain (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan synthase, whereas the function of HvCslF9 is unknown. Here, the relationship between mRNA levels of HvCslF6, HvCslF9, HvGlbI (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan endohydrolase, and (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan content was studied in developing grains of four barley cultivars. HvCslF6 was differentially expressed during mid (8-15 DPA) and late (38 DPA) grain development stages while HvCslF9 transcript was only clearly detected at 8-10 DPA. A peak of HvGlbI expression was detected at 15 DPA. Differences in transcript abundance across the three genes could partially explain variation in grain (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan content in these genotypes. Remarkably narrow sequence variation was found within the HvCslF6 promoter and coding sequence and does not explain variation in (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan content. Our data emphasise the genotype-dependent accumulation of (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan during barley grain development and a role for the balance between hydrolysis and synthesis in determining (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan content, and suggests that other regulatory sequences or proteins are likely to be involved in this trait in developing grain.
Project description:(1,3;1,4)-?-D-glucans (mixed-linkage glucans) are found in tissues of members of the Poaceae (grasses), and are particularly high in barley (Hordeum vulgare) grains. The present study describes the isolation of three independent (1,3;1,4)-?-D-glucanless (betaglucanless; bgl) mutants of barley which completely lack (1,3;1,4)-?-D-glucan in all the tissues tested. The bgl phenotype cosegregates with the cellulose synthase like HvCslF6 gene on chromosome arm 7HL. Each of the bgl mutants has a single nucleotide substitution in the coding region of the HvCslF6 gene resulting in a change of a highly conserved amino acid residue of the HvCslF6 protein. Microsomal membranes isolated from developing endosperm of the bgl mutants lack detectable (1,3;1,4)-?-D-glucan synthase activity indicating that the HvCslF6 protein is inactive. This was confirmed by transient expression of the HvCslF6 cDNAs in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. The wild-type HvCslF6 gene directed the synthesis of high levels of (1,3;1,4)-?-D-glucans, whereas the mutant HvCslF6 proteins completely lack the ability to synthesize (1,3;1,4)-?-D-glucans. The fine structure of the (1,3;1,4)-?-D-glucan produced in the tobacco leaf was also very different from that found in cereals having an extremely low DP3/DP4 ratio. These results demonstrate that, among the seven CslF and one CslH genes present in the barley genome, HvCslF6 has a unique role and is the key determinant controlling the biosynthesis of (1,3;1,4)-?-D-glucans. Natural allelic variation in the HvCslF6 gene was found predominantly within introns among 29 barley accessions studied. Genetic manipulation of the HvCslF6 gene could enable control of (1,3;1,4)-?-D-glucans in accordance with the purposes of use.
Project description:The cellulose synthase-like gene HvCslF6, which is essential for (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan biosynthesis in barley, collocates with quantitative trait loci (QTL) for grain (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan concentration in several populations, including CDC Bold × TR251. Here, an alanine-to-threonine substitution (caused by the only non-synonymous difference between the CDC Bold and TR251 HvCslF6 alleles) was mapped to a position within HvCSLF6 that seems unlikely to affect enzyme stability or function. Consistent with this, transient expression of full-length HvCslF6 cDNAs from CDC Bold and TR251 in Nicotianabenthamiana led to accumulation of similar amounts of (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan accumulation. Monitoring of HvCslF6 transcripts throughout grain development revealed a significant difference late in grain development (more than 30 days after pollination), with TR251 [the parent with higher grain (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan] exhibiting higher transcript levels than CDC Bold. A similar difference was observed between Beka and Logan, the parents of another population in which a QTL had been mapped in the HvCslF6 region. Sequencing of a putative promoter region of HvCslF6 revealed numerous polymorphisms between CDC Bold and TR251, but none between Beka and Logan. While the results of this work indicate that naturally occurring quantitative differences in (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan accumulation may be due to cis-regulated differences in HvCslF6 expression, these could not be attributed to any specific DNA sequence polymorphism. Nevertheless, information on HvCslF6 sequence polymorphism was used to develop molecular markers that could be used in barley breeding to select for the desired [low or high (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan] allele of the QTL.
Project description:The walls of grasses and related members of the Poales are characterized by the presence of the polysaccharide (1,3, 1,4)-beta-D-glucan (beta-glucan). To date, only members of the grass-specific cellulose synthase-like F (CSLF) gene family have been implicated in its synthesis. Assuming that other grass-specific CSL genes also might encode synthases for this polysaccharide, we cloned HvCSLH1, a CSLH gene from barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), and expressed an epitope-tagged version of the cDNA in Arabidopsis, a species with no CSLH genes and no beta-glucan in its walls. Transgenic Arabidopsis lines that had detectable amounts of the epitope-tagged HvCSLH1 protein accumulated beta-glucan in their walls. The presence of beta-glucan was confirmed by immunoelectron microscopy (immuno-EM) of sectioned tissues and chemical analysis of wall extracts. In the chemical analysis, characteristic tri- and tetra-saccharides were identified by high-performance anion-exchange chromatography and MALDI-TOF MS following their release from transgenic Arabidopsis walls by a specific beta-glucan hydrolase. Immuno-EM also was used to show that the epitope-tagged HvCSLH1 protein was in the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi-associated vesicles, but not in the plasma membrane. In barley, HvCSLH1 was expressed at very low levels in leaf, floral tissues, and the developing grain. In leaf, expression was highest in xylem and interfascicular fiber cells that have walls with secondary thickenings containing beta-glucan. Thus both the CSLH and CSLF families contribute to beta-glucan synthesis in grasses and probably do so independently of each other, because there is no significant transcriptional correlation between these genes in the barley tissues surveyed.
Project description:An important component of barley cell walls, particularly in the endosperm, is (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan, a polymer that has proven health benefits in humans and that influences processability in the brewing industry. Genes of the cellulose synthase-like (Csl) F gene family have been shown to be involved in (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan synthesis but many aspects of the biosynthesis are still unclear. Examination of the sequence assembly of the barley genome has revealed the presence of an additional three HvCslF genes (HvCslF11, HvCslF12 and HvCslF13) which may be involved in (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan synthesis. Transcripts of HvCslF11 and HvCslF12 mRNA were found in roots and young leaves, respectively. Transient expression of these genes in Nicotiana benthamiana resulted in phenotypic changes in the infiltrated leaves, although no authentic (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan was detected. Comparisons of the CslF gene families in cereals revealed evidence of intergenic recombination, gene duplications and translocation events. This significant divergence within the gene family might be related to multiple functions of (1,3;1,4)-?-glucans in the Poaceae. Emerging genomic and global expression data for barley and other cereals is a powerful resource for characterising the evolution and dynamics of complete gene families. In the case of the CslF gene family, the results will contribute to a more thorough understanding of carbohydrate metabolism in grass cell walls.
Project description:Interspecific hybridization between bread wheat (Triticum aestivum, 2n = 42) and related species allows the transfer of agronomic and quality traits, whereby subsequent generations comprise an improved genetic background and can be directly applied in wheat breeding programmes. While wild relatives are frequently used as sources of agronomically favourable traits, cultivated species can also improve wheat quality and stress resistance. A salt-tolerant 'Asakaze'/'Manas' 7H disomic addition line (2n = 44) with elevated ?-glucan content, but with low fertility and an unstable genetic background was developed in an earlier wheat-barley prebreeding programme. The aim of the present study was to take this hybridization programme further and transfer the favourable barley traits into a more stable genetic background. Taking advantage of the breakage-fusion mechanism of univalent chromosomes, the 'Rannaya' winter wheat 7B monosomic line was used as female partner to the 7H addition line male, leading to the development of a compensating wheat/barley Robertsonian translocation line (7BS.7HL centric fusion, 2n = 42) exhibiting higher salt tolerance and elevated grain ?-glucan content. Throughout the crossing programme, comprising the F1-F4 generations, genomic in situ hybridization, fluorescence in situ hybridization and chromosome-specific molecular markers were used to trace and identify the wheat and barley chromatin. Investigations on salt tolerance during germination and on the (1,3;1,4)-?-D-glucan (mixed-linkage glucan [MLG]) content of the seeds confirmed the salt tolerance and elevated grain MLG content of the translocation line, which can be directly applied in current wheat breeding programmes.
Project description:Setaria viridis has emerged as a model species for the larger C4 grasses. Here the cellulose synthase (CesA) superfamily has been defined, with an emphasis on the amounts and distribution of (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan, a cell wall polysaccharide that is characteristic of the grasses and is of considerable value for human health.Orthologous relationship of the CesA and Poales-specific cellulose synthase-like (Csl) genes among Setaria italica (Si), Sorghum bicolor (Sb), Oryza sativa (Os), Brachypodium distachyon (Bradi) and Hordeum vulgare (Hv) were compared using bioinformatics analysis. Transcription profiling of Csl gene families, which are involved in (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan synthesis, was performed using real-time quantitative PCR (Q-PCR). The amount of (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan was measured using a modified Megazyme assay. The fine structures of the (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan, as denoted by the ratio of cellotriosyl to cellotetraosyl residues (DP3:DP4 ratio) was assessed by chromatography (HPLC and HPAEC-PAD). The distribution and deposition of the MLG was examined using the specific antibody BG-1 and captured using fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).The cellulose synthase gene superfamily contains 13 CesA and 35 Csl genes in Setaria. Transcript profiling of CslF, CslH and CslJ gene families across a vegetative tissue series indicated that SvCslF6 transcripts were the most abundant relative to all other Csl transcripts. The amounts of (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan in Setaria vegetative tissues ranged from 0.2% to 2.9% w/w with much smaller amounts in developing grain (0.003% to 0.013% w/w). In general, the amount of (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan was greater in younger than in older tissues. The DP3:DP4 ratios varied between tissue types and across developmental stages, and ranged from 2.4 to 3.0:1. The DP3:DP4 ratios in developing grain ranged from 2.5 to 2.8:1. Micrographs revealing the distribution of (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan in walls of different cell types and the data were consistent with the quantitative (1,3;1,4)-?-glucan assays.The characteristics of the cellulose synthase gene superfamily and the accumulation and distribution of (1,3;1,4)-?-glucans in Setaria are similar to those in other C4 grasses, including sorghum. This suggests that Setaria is a suitable model plant for cell wall polysaccharide biology in C4 grasses.
Project description:New sources of genetic diversity must be incorporated into plant breeding programs if they are to continue increasing grain yield and quality, and tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses. Germplasm collections provide a source of genetic and phenotypic diversity, but characterization of these resources is required to increase their utility for breeding programs. We used a barley SNP iSelect platform with 7,842 SNPs to genotype 2,417 barley accessions sampled from the USDA National Small Grains Collection of 33,176 accessions. Most of the accessions in this core collection are categorized as landraces or cultivars/breeding lines and were obtained from more than 100 countries. Both STRUCTURE and principal component analysis identified five major subpopulations within the core collection, mainly differentiated by geographical origin and spike row number (an inflorescence architecture trait). Different patterns of linkage disequilibrium (LD) were found across the barley genome and many regions of high LD contained traits involved in domestication and breeding selection. The genotype data were used to define 'mini-core' sets of accessions capturing the majority of the allelic diversity present in the core collection. These 'mini-core' sets can be used for evaluating traits that are difficult or expensive to score. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of 'hull cover', 'spike row number', and 'heading date' demonstrate the utility of the core collection for locating genetic factors determining important phenotypes. The GWAS results were referenced to a new barley consensus map containing 5,665 SNPs. Our results demonstrate that GWAS and high-density SNP genotyping are effective tools for plant breeders interested in accessing genetic diversity in large germplasm collections.
Project description:<i>Brachypodium distachyon</i> is a small, fast growing grass species in the <i>Pooideae</i> subfamily that has become established as a model for other temperate cereals of agricultural significance, such as barley (<i>Hordeum vulgare</i>) and wheat (<i>Triticum aestivum</i>). The unusually high content in whole grains of ?-D-(1,3;1,4)-glucan or mixed linkage glucan (MLG), considered a valuable dietary fibre due to its increased solubility in water compared with cellulose, makes <i>B. distachyon</i> an attractive model for these polysaccharides. The carbohydrate composition of grain in <i>B. distachyon</i> is interesting not only in understanding the synthesis of MLG, but more broadly in the mechanism(s) of carbon partitioning in cereal grains. Several mutants in the major MLG synthase, cellulose synthase like (CSL) F6, were identified in a screen of a TILLING population that show a loss of function <i>in vitro</i>. Surprisingly, loss of <i>cslf6</i> synthase capacity appears to have a severe impact on survival, growth, and development in <i>B. distachyon</i> in contrast to equivalent mutants in barley and rice. One mutant, A656T, which showed milder growth impacts in heterozygotes shows a 21% (w/w) reduction in average grain MLG and more than doubling of starch compared with wildtype. The endosperm architecture of grains with the A656T mutation is altered, with a reduction in wall thickness and increased deposition of starch in larger granules than typical of wildtype <i>B. distachyon</i>. Together these changes demonstrate an alteration in the carbon storage of <i>cslf6</i> mutant grains in response to reduced MLG synthase capacity and a possible cross-regulation with starch synthesis which should be a focus in future work in composition of these grains. The consequences of these findings for the use of <i>B. distachyon</i> as a model species for understanding MLG synthesis, and more broadly the implications for improving the nutritional value of cereal grains through alteration of soluble dietary fibre content are discussed.
Project description:Aspergillus fumigatus is an environmental mold that causes severe, often fatal invasive infections in immunocompromised patients. The search for new antifungal drug targets is critical, and the synthesis of the cell wall represents a potential area to find such a target. Embedded within the main ?-1,3-glucan core of the A. fumigatus cell wall is a mixed linkage, ?-D-(1,3;1,4)-glucan. The role of this molecule or how it is synthesized is unknown, though it comprises 10% of the glucans within the wall. While this is not a well-studied molecule in fungi, it has been studied in plants. Using the sequences of two plant mixed linkage glucan synthases, a single ortholog was identified in A. fumigatus (Tft1). A strain lacking this enzyme (tft1?) was generated along with revertant strains containing the native gene under the control of either the native or a strongly expressing promoter. Immunofluorescence staining with an antibody against ?-(1,3;1,4)-glucan and biochemical quantification of this polysaccharide in the tft1? strain demonstrated complete loss of this molecule. Reintroduction of the gene into the knockout strain yielded reappearance in amounts that correlated with expected expression of the gene. The loss of Tft1 and mixed linkage glucan yielded no in vitro growth phenotype. However, there was a modest increase in virulence for the tft1? strain in a wax worm model. While the precise roles for ?-(1,3;1,4)-glucan within A. fumigatus cell wall are still uncertain, it is clear that Tft1 plays a pivotal role in the biosynthesis of this cell wall polysaccharide.