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Crop Biotech Update

Sugar Transporter Genes Contribute in Wheat Grain Weight During Drought

October 24, 2018

Good grain characteristics during drought are highly important in the development of abiotic stress tolerant wheat. The SUT group of genes is known to play a role in the mobilization of sugars to the grain.

In a study by researchers from Murdoch University in Australia, these SUTs are characterized in terms of gene expression by sampling for plant's stem, leaf sheath, rachis, lemma, and developing grain before flowering and grain maturity in two drought tolerant wheat varieties, namely, Westonia and Kauz. They determine the plants' grain weight, thousand grain weight, kernel number per spike, biomass, and stem water-soluble carbohydrate and analyze the correlation of these traits with the SUT gene expression. Results showed high expression of TaSUT1 in all sampled organs, especially in the grain. TaSUT1 high expression is correlated with high grain yield in Kauz and with thousand grain weight in Westonia.

For more information, read the article in Plant Molecular Biology.