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Type: Journal article
Title: Overexpression of HvCslF6 in barley grain alters carbohydrate partitioning plus transfer tissue and endosperm development
Author: Lim, W.L.
Collins, H.M.
Byrt, C.S.
Lahnstein, J.
Shirley, N.J.
Aubert, M.K.
Tucker, M.R.
Peukert, M.
Matros, A.
Burton, R.A.
Citation: Journal of Experimental Botany, 2020; 71(1):138-153
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 0022-0957
Statement of
Wai Li Lim, Helen M. Collins, Caitlin S. Byrt, Jelle Lahnstein, Neil J. Shirley, Matthew K. Aubert, Matthew R. Tucker, Manuela Peukert, Andrea Matros, and Rachel A. Burton
Abstract: In cereal grain sucrose is converted into storage carbohydrates; mainly starch, fructan and (1,3;1,4)-β-glucan (MLG). Previously, endosperm-specific overexpression of the HvCslF6 gene in hull-less barley resulted in high MLG and low starch content in mature grains. Morphological changes included inwardly elongated aleurone cells, irregular cell shapes of peripheral endosperm and smaller starch granules of starchy endosperm. Here we explored the physiological basis for these defects by investigating how changes in carbohydrate composition of developing grain impact mature grain morphology. Augmented MLG coincided with increased levels of soluble carbohydrates in the cavity and endosperm at the storage phase. Transcript levels of genes relating to cell wall, starch, sucrose and fructan metabolism were perturbed in all tissues. The cell walls of endosperm transfer cells (ETC) in transgenic grain were thinner and showed reduced mannan labelling relative to wild type. At the early storage phase rupture of the non-uniformly developed ETC and disorganization of adjacent endosperm cells was observed. Soluble sugars accumulated in the developing grain cavity, suggesting a disturbance of carbohydrate flow from the cavity towards the endosperm, resulting in a shrunken mature grain phenotype. Our findings demonstrate the importance of regulating carbohydrate partitioning in maintenance of grain cellularization and filling processes.
Keywords: Barley; carbohydrate partitioning; cavity; fructan; (1,3;1,4)-β-glucan; grain morphology; starch; sucrose
Rights: © Society for Experimental Biology 2019. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact
RMID: 1000000360
DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erz407
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Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications

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