Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Study Finds PHS Gene That Prevents Wheat From Sprouting

Fewer crop losses anticipated

A new study about the common problem of preharvest sprouting, or PHS, in wheat is nipping the crop-killing issue in the bud.

Researchers at Kansas State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, or USDA-ARS, found and cloned a gene in wheat named PHS that prevents the plant from preharvest sprouting. Preharvest sprouting happens when significant rain causes the wheat grain to germinate before harvest and results in significant crop losses.

"This is great news because preharvest sprouting is a very difficult trait for wheat breeders to handle through breeding alone," said Bikram Gill, university distinguished professor of plant pathology and director of the Wheat Genetics Resource Center. "With this study, they will have a gene marker to expedite the breeding of wheat that will not have this problem."

Gill conducted the study with Guihau Bai, a researcher with the Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research Unit of the USDA-ARS, adjunct professor of agronomy at Kansas State University and the study's lead author. Also involved were Harold Trick, professor of plant pathology; Shubing Liu, research associate in agronomy; Sunish Sehgal, senior scientist in plant pathology; Jiarui Li, research assistant professor; and Meng Lin, doctoral student in agronomy, all from Kansas State University; and Jianming Yu, Iowa State University.

Their study, "Cloning and Characterization of a Critical Regulator for Pre-Harvest Sprouting in Wheat," appears in a recent issue of the scientific journal Genetics.

The finding will to be most beneficial to white wheat production, which loses $1 billion annually to preharvest sprouting, according to Gill.

He said consumers prefer white wheat to the predominant red wheat because white wheat lacks the more bitter flavor associated with red wheat. Millers also prefer white wheat to red because it produces more flour when ground. The problem is that white wheat is very susceptible to preharvest sprouting.

"There has been demand for white wheat in Kansas for more than 30 years," Gill said. "The very first year white wheat was grown in the state, though, there was rain in June and then there was preharvest sprouting and a significant loss. The white wheat industry has not recovered since and has been hesitant to try again. I think that this gene is a big step toward establishing a white wheat industry in Kansas."

Gill said identifying the PHS gene creates a greater assurance before planting a crop that it will be resistant to preharvest sprouting once it grows a year later. Wheat breeders can now bring a small tissue sample of a wheat plant into a lab and test whether it has the preharvest sprouting resistance gene rather than finding out once the crop grows.

Much of the work to isolate the PHS gene came from Gill and his colleagues' efforts to fully sequence the genome -- think genetic blueprint -- of common wheat. Wheat is the only major food plant not to have its genome sequenced. The genome of wheat is nearly three times the size of the human genome.

Researchers were able to study sequenced segments of the common wheat genome and look for a naturally occurring resistance gene. Gill said without the sequenced segments, finding the PHS gene would have been impossible.

Bikram Gill | Newswise
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1
27.10.2016 | NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute

nachricht 'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape
27.10.2016 | International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>