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Plant Biotechnol J. 2016 Feb;14(2):649-60. doi: 10.1111/pbi.12410. Epub 2015 Jun 1.

Metabolomic profiling and genomic analysis of wheat aneuploid lines to identify genes controlling biochemical pathways in mature grain.

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Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, Grains Industry, South Perth, WA, Australia.
State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA, Australia.
Separation Science and Metabolomics Laboratory, Research and Development, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA, Australia.
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA, Australia.
Metabolomics Australia, Murdoch University Node, Murdoch, WA, Australia.


Metabolomics is becoming an increasingly important tool in plant genomics to decipher the function of genes controlling biochemical pathways responsible for trait variation. Although theoretical models can integrate genes and metabolites for trait variation, biological networks require validation using appropriate experimental genetic systems. In this study, we applied an untargeted metabolite analysis to mature grain of wheat homoeologous group 3 ditelosomic lines, selected compounds that showed significant variation between wheat lines Chinese Spring and at least one ditelosomic line, tracked the genes encoding enzymes of their biochemical pathway using the wheat genome survey sequence and determined the genetic components underlying metabolite variation. A total of 412 analytes were resolved in the wheat grain metabolome, and principal component analysis indicated significant differences in metabolite profiles between Chinese Spring and each ditelosomic lines. The grain metabolome identified 55 compounds positively matched against a mass spectral library where the majority showed significant differences between Chinese Spring and at least one ditelosomic line. Trehalose and branched-chain amino acids were selected for detailed investigation, and it was expected that if genes encoding enzymes directly related to their biochemical pathways were located on homoeologous group 3 chromosomes, then corresponding ditelosomic lines would have a significant reduction in metabolites compared with Chinese Spring. Although a proportion showed a reduction, some lines showed significant increases in metabolites, indicating that genes directly and indirectly involved in biosynthetic pathways likely regulate the metabolome. Therefore, this study demonstrated that wheat aneuploid lines are suitable experimental genetic system to validate metabolomics-genomics networks.


aneuploidy; genomics; metabolomics; quality; seed; wheat

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