Crop Quality

Lead Research Organisation: Quadram Institute Bioscience
Department Name: Contracts

Abstract

Recent progress in genomic and transcriptomic technologies for crop species provides new opportunities to apply our expertise directly to these species, in order to underpin improvements in crop quality. We have an outstanding track record in research on the nutritional importance of phenylpropanoids, the composition of pea seeds, plant zinc and iron homeostasis and starch synthesis and turnover. Across these research areas, we will use new knowledge of the genetic control of crop composition to develop suites of crop plants differing only in a single aspect of composition. We will be test for health promoting, digestive and functional properties. The outcome will be a new, systematic understanding of the nutritional importance of crop components, the effects of composition on food functionality and consumer acceptability, and means of breeding nutritionally superior crops. This work includes use of knowledge of the relationship between starch properties, starch synthesis and starch granule initiation to develop wheat lines containing starches that differ in resistance to digestion.
 
Description • Using the in silico wheat TILLING resource (exome capture and re-sequencing of hexaploid Cadenza mutants) we have selected lines carrying null mutations in each homoeoallele of 5 starch synthase, 3 starch branching enzyme, and 1 debranching enzyme genes expected to influence starch structure and composition. We initiated a crossing program to generate single-, double-, and triple-null mutants for each gene using different combinations of mutant homoeoalleles (Obj. 3.2A).
• We have completed an initial characterization of starch and grain properties of Cadenza ssIIIa single, double and triple mutants and are currently preparing a manuscript describing their development and characterization of starch and grain properties (starch content, amylose content, resistant starch content, protein content, starch chain length distribution, starch granule size distribution, starch granule morphology, germination index, grain hardness, grain weight, grain dimensions, physicochemical properties). We showed that loss of SSIIIa in triple mutants lead to more amylose and resistant starch, and our results indicate that despite the higher levels of resistant starch, other effects on starch and grain properties may hamper the usefulness of ssIIIa mutants in breeding applications (Obj. 3.2A)..
• For SSI, SSIIa, SSIIIa, SSIVb, SBEIIa, SBEIIb and ISA1, we have selected homozygous single, double and triple mutants (Obj. 3.2A).
• For SSIIIb and SBEI we have identified triple heterozygous individuals to produce segregating F2 populations for selection of single, double and triple mutants (Obj. 3.2A).
• We obtained sbeIIa/b-A, sbeIIa/b-B and sbeIIa/b-D double gene mutants (Obj. 3.2A).
Exploitation Route • We expect the null starch mutants to exhibit distinct starch structural properties. In collaboration with Designing Future Wheat ISP (Obj. 2.1.1) and Food Innovation and Health ISP (Obj. 1.1) we will explore the role of each homoeologue in amylose and amylopectin synthesis and how this relates to starch digestibility.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

 
Description BBSRC Norwich Research Park Doctoral Training Partnership studentship
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 09/2022
 
Description OpenPlant Fund
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/L014130/1 
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2017 
End 07/2018
 
Description CIMMYT Wheat and Maize Quality 
Organisation International Centre for Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT)
Country Mexico 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution I partnered with the leaders of the wheat and maize quality groups at CIMMYT to apply for joint funding opportunities. The research areas focused on enhancing starch quality in wheat and maize for human health. The impact of the work focused on reducing dietary risk factors for noncommunicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries.
Collaborator Contribution CIMMYT contributed their expertise in breeding for wheat and maize quality, support and facilities for growing multi-environmental field trials, producing grain for food and health studies, introgressing starch traits into breeding lines, wheat quality evaluations, and knowledge for developing effective pathways to impact.
Impact 1) Organized an international workshop at CIMMYT in Mexico 'Improving Staple Crops and Foods to Tackle Global Nutrition and Health Challenges' (28 Jan - 4 Feb 2017). 2) Hosted visiting worker from CIMMYT during May to gain preliminary data on variation in resistant starch and starch digestibility of native maize landraces and how this changes through processing in traditional Mexican foods (May 2017). 3) Initiated multi-environmental field trials in Mexico to investigate genotype by environment interactions in relation to starch properties and digestibility in wheat.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Collaboration with Imperial College London for Human Intervention Study on Resistant Starch Wheat 
Organisation Imperial College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I collaborated with Imperial College London to run a pilot study investigating acute glycemic response of wheat with enhanced resistant starch. My PhD student designed and characterized a test food made with high-resistant starch wheat.
Collaborator Contribution My partner at Imperial College London used our high-resistant starch test food in an acute intervention study to measure blood glucose after a meal.
Impact The outcome of this collaboration was primary in vivo data related to potential health impact of high-resistant starch wheat. This data will be used to inform design of future studies and define target levels of resistant starch required to have an impact in vivo. It will also be used as preliminary data to support future grant proposals and protocols for other intervention studies.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Breeders Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Breeders Day is an event organised by the John Innes Centre for to hear first-hand from JIC scientists about the science carried out on site and how it impacts crop breeding and farming. Breeders day takes place at JIC conference centre and at JIC Field Station with talks both indoors and outdoor while walking between plots.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL https://twitter.com/MarinaCorrad/status/1004666473904734208
 
Description Cereal and Grains Annual meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Cereals & Grains meeting brings together a broad audience to discuss advancement in cereals and grains science. We presented a oral presentation during the Starch Technical Session and a poster presentation during the Health Benefits of grain-based macro-and micronutrients.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description From Seed to Pasta III 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact From Seed to Pasta" is a multidiscplinary conference focused on the remarkable progress in durum wheat science and the increasing concern on the future availability of durum grain due to climate change, a matter with fundamental socio-economic implications in the Mediterranean countries where durum-derived products are a staple.
Oral presentation on "digestibility of processed durum wheat with increased resistant starch"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Hosted student from Year 10 science camp 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact My lab hosted a year 10 student for a day to learn about research in our lab.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Hosted undergraduate student for 3rd year research project 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact My laboratory hosted an undergraduate student to conduct their 3rd year research dissertation project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Hosted visiting worker from CIMMYT to learn starch analysis methods 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact My lab hosted a visiting worker from CIMMYT during May to provide training on starch analysis for maize samples.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Hosted visitor from Agri 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact I hosted a visitor from Agri to present about my research and identify opportunities for collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Interactive activities for Open Day event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact My laboratory participated in an Open Day event which hosted members of the local general public. We designed interactive activities for visitors to learn about wheat in the food chain and starch.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Interview for Feast Norfolk magazine 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview for article in Feast Norfolk Magazine aimed at informing the general public about the research happening at Quadram Institute Bioscience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Interview for Vegetable Farmer Magazine 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact I participated in an interview for Vegetable Farmer Magazine. For the interview I discussed my research on developing healthier wheat starch.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Lecture for postgraduate course (Target traits for crop improvement) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I gave a lecture for a postgraduate course on target traits for crop improvement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Meet the Molecules Blog article 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Meet the Molecules blog article on Resistant Starch
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.jic.ac.uk/blog/meet-the-molecules-resistant-starch/
 
Description Meeting with visitors from ICRISAT 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact I participated in a meeting with visitors from ICRISAT to present about my research and identify opportunities for collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Monogram 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The Monogram Network meeting is the annual get together for the small-grain cereal and grass research community. Academics, commercial scientists and plant breeders meet to hear about the latest advances, exchange ideas and discuss collaboration. We presented a poster on" Digestibility of processed durum wheat with increased resistant starch"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Norfolk Spring Fling 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Norfolk Spring Fling is a regional event that welcomes more than 6000 people. We directly interacted with hundreds of them were we explained our research, how our scientific knowledge is being translated to bring healthier food to everyone's table.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://springfling.rnaa.org.uk/
 
Description Participation in Breeder Day event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact My laboratory participated in a Breeder's Day event which hosted breeders and other industry stakeholders. We presented a summary of our research next to our research plots in the field. This was followed by questions and discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Pint of Science public presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Pint of Science festival aims to deliver interesting and relevant talks on the latest science research in an accessible format to the public - mainly across bars and pubs. I gave a presentation on my research in an informal pub setting to the general public. The presentation was followed by questions and discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation for WGIN Stakeholder meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact I presented my research at the annual WGIN Stakeholder meeting.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation for the University of the Third Age 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact U3A (The University of the Third Age) is a UK-wide movement which brings together people in their 'third age' to develop their interests and continue their learning in a friendly and informal environment. Members of U3A visited Quadram Institute Bioscience in April 2017 for a presentation by myself and PhD student on developing healthier wheat starches. The presentation was followed by questions and further discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Reepham Food Festival - Fun Food Science Activity 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The food festival was made of a range of events, with chef demonstrations, market stalls, schools displays and activities. The Hazard group organised a stand about cereal research and health with hands-on activity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://twitter.com/MarinaCorrad/status/1000743709397438465
 
Description TV episode for Food Unwrapped 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I participated in filming a TV episode for the popular TV show Food Unwrapped. The episode focused on the research my lab is doing to develop bread with more resistant starch (fibre).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Tour and presentation for UKRI institute visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact I hosted members of UKRI for a tour of the JIC Church Farm field. This included a presentation on the research my lab is doing to develop healthier wheat starch.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit by seed company to discuss research on starch trait development 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact My lab hosted a visitor from a seed company to discuss our research on starch trait development in wheat.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit with Norfolk's Lord-Lieutenant 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Visit by Norfolk's Lord-Lieutenant to discuss research at the John Innes Centre and Quadram Institute BIoscience
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019