Genetic control of starch structure and composition in wheat and implications for improving human health

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Graduate Office

Abstract

Wheat provides approximately one fifth of the calories consumed by humans worldwide, thus improving the nutritional value of wheat grains has potential to make a large impact on human health. Starch composition and structure play a major role in digestibility by humans. However, there is little natural variation in the starch composition of common bread wheat.

In an effort to improve the nutritional quality of foods for human health, this project will focus on understanding the genetic components underlying starch composition and structure in the grain and what consequences this may have for human digestibility. The applied nature of this project will aid in the development of wheat plants with enhanced nutritional value that can be used in food and health studies in Norwich. It will also provide further insight and understanding of starch biosynthesis in wheat and how it may affect plant fitness and potential agronomic quality.

This project will be based upon previous research that has generated valuable genetic and genomic resources in wheat including over 1,500 sequenced TILLING mutants. The student will build a solid skill set in modern plant breeding and trait development. He/she will utilize cutting-edge molecular techniques and bioinformatics approaches to identify and characterize novel alleles regulating starch composition and structure in the grain. The project will also provide applied opportunities for the student to develop and use plant materials in human health related studies. The student will be supervised by a multidisciplinary team across the Norwich Research Park at both the Institute of Food Research and the John Innes Centre.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011216/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1772164 Studentship BB/M011216/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2020 Marina Corrado
 
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 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 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 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 Soapbox Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Soapbox Science is a science outreach organisation that brings cutting edge research onto urban streets whilst also promoting the visibility of women in science. Speakers stand on soapboxes and engage with the public about their work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://soapboxscience.org/soapbox-science-2018-norwich/
 
Description Women for the future conference 
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 Schools
Results and Impact Women of the Future is a one day conference for Year 10 girls hosted by the John Innes Centre, designed to educate, advise and inspire. I was involved as a STEMM professionals and as a woman to tell my story, my research experience and what lead me to chose this career path.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.jic.ac.uk/training-careers/work-experience/women-of-the-future/
 
Description Youth STEMM Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Youth STEMM Conference is a one day conference for young people ranging from 13 to 18 years old and coming from schools across Norfolk and Suffolk. I was involved as a STEMM professionals to share my research experience and what lead me to chose this career path.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.jic.ac.uk/blog/youth-stemm-award-mid-term-conference/