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Type: Thesis
Title: Molecular and genetic characterisation of early aleurone development in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.)
Author: Aubert, Matthew Kevern
Issue Date: 2018
School/Discipline: School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
Abstract: Cultivation of cereals has been the cornerstone of the delevopment of civilisation around the world. Cereal grains are important for human health and nutrition and can be utilised for a number of processes in the brewing, fibre and food industries. One such cereal species important in these industries is barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), which is used as malt in brewing, as a major additive for animal feed and a component in various foods for human consumption. Within the barley grain, an outer tissue layer known as the aleurone contains high levels of dietary fibre, minerals and antioxidants, and is known to be crucial for grain germination. In barley and other cereal species, the aleurone releases enzymes during germination that stimulate the release of starch- derived energy reserves, and this is utilised in the production of malt for brewing. Barley is primarily used for malt production compared to other cereal species, potentially due to morphological differences in aleurone structure as a result of selective breeding. For example, in cereal grains such as maize (Zea mays L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), only a single layer of aleurone cells is present, whilst in barley, multilayered aleurones are observed. The significance of having more or less aleurone layers on germination or seed development still remains unclear. Despite the economic importance of barley aleurone, few details are available in regards to molecular cues controlling the differentiation of the aleurone from the inner starchy endosperm cells. Current research into aleurone morphology and development has primarily occurred in maize and rice (Oryza sativa L.). Therefore, the aims of this project were to investigate and characterise the molecular and genetic basis for aleurone development in barley. Since barley is an important cereal crop, it has been selectively bred worldwide to produce many cultivars, each possessing various traits that support growth and productivity. The Hordeum genetic pool is therefore quite large, consisting of some 460,000 accessions, including cultivars, landraces, breeding lines and wild Hordeum species. With a large selection of barley accessions, barley transformation efficiency has also rapidly improved, making it easier to generate transgenic lines to study molecular factors involved in plant growth and development. Similarly, with the release of the barley genome, together with the barley accessions, many useful genetic tools can now be employed. For example, Genome Wide Association Studies utilise genetic diversity and a sequenced genome to investigate the genetic architecture of diverse traits. In this thesis, the genetic pool of the Hordeum species has been exploited in an attempt to identify candidate genes involved in aleurone development.
Advisor: Tucker, Matthew
Burton, Rachel
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, 2019
Keywords: Barley
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