Dynamic metabolite QTL analyses provide novel biochemical insights into kernel development and nutritional quality improvement in common wheat

Bo Yin, Jingqi Jia, Xu Sun, Xin Hu, Min Ao, Wei Liu, Zhitao Tian, Hongbo Liu, Dongqin Li, Wenfei Tian, Yuanfeng Hao, Xianchun Xia, Nir Sade, Yariv Brotman, Alisdair R. Fernie, Jie Chen*, Zhonghu He*, Wei Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite recent advances in crop metabolomics, the genetic control and molecular basis of the wheat kernel metabolome at different developmental stages remain largely unknown. Here, we performed widely targeted metabolite profiling of kernels from three developmental stages (grain-filling kernels [FKs], mature kernels [MKs], and germinating kernels [GKs]) using a population of 159 recombinant inbred lines. We detected 625 annotated metabolites and mapped 3173, 3143, and 2644 metabolite quantitative trait loci (mQTLs) in FKs, MKs, and GKs, respectively. Only 52 mQTLs were mapped at all three stages, indicating the high stage specificity of the wheat kernel metabolome. Four candidate genes were functionally validated by in vitro enzymatic reactions and/or transgenic approaches in wheat, three of which mediated the tricin metabolic pathway. Metabolite flux efficiencies within the tricin pathway were evaluated, and superior candidate haplotypes were identified, comprehensively delineating the tricin metabolism pathway in wheat. Finally, additional wheat metabolic pathways were re-constructed by updating them to incorporate the 177 candidate genes identified in this study. Our work provides new information on variations in the wheat kernel metabolome and important molecular resources for improvement of wheat nutritional quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100792
JournalPlant Communications
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Funding

FundersFunder number
National Major Program of China2023ZD0406903
Young Top-notch Talent Cultivation Program of Hubei Province
National Natural Science Foundation of China32001541
China Postdoctoral Science Foundation2021T140246
Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars of Fujian Province2021CFA058

    Keywords

    • gene validation
    • mQTL
    • nutritional quality
    • wheat
    • wheat kernel development

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