Engineering a better wheat leaf

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield


Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.




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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M016927/1 30/09/2015 29/09/2019
1656695 Studentship BB/M016927/1 30/09/2015 29/09/2019
Description Wheat leaf structure is essential for function - primarily carrying out photosynthesis. This process relies upon the exchange of CO2 and water vapour. This is not only limited by pores found on the surface of the leaf (named stomata), but additionally, the arrangement and size of airspaces and cells within the leaf have a direct impact photosynthetic gas exchange. The work funded through this award used a variety of physiological and novel 3D imaging techniques to develop a greater understanding of the relationships between wheat leaf structure and function. It was found that there was a positive correlation between stomatal conductance (the rate of diffusion through stomata) and levels of leaf airspace. It was discovered that fully functioning stomata are required for intercellular airspace formation in wheat. Further discoveries resulting from this award are being readied for publication, and it would be expected that these will be published in the near future. The work funded through this award provides new insights into the relationships between stomatal function and leaf differentiation, and provides support to the idea that water use may have been a driver for the evolution of modern bread wheat.
Exploitation Route The methodologies used during this award can be used to investigate alternate crop species/mutant plants and the structure/function relationships of these. There is scope to further investigate any potential stimulus for the formation of airspaces within the wheat leaf after stomatal maturation. There is a potential impact for the breeding of crop varieties which are more tolerant to future environments.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

Description UKPPN Travel bursary
Amount £250 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2016 
End 06/2016