The Smart Carbohydrate Centre was a BBSRC CSI funded collaboration between NIAB and JIC that made the discoveries of world-leading starch scientists accessible to the industries that need to explore the value of novel starches. At NIAB, we used state of the art breeding techniques to develop a suite of 264 near-isogenic lines of a commercial elite barley variety (Tipple), into which variants of four starch genes with clear commercial value were introgresed. During the selection process, we applied both foreground selection (using SNP based markers in each of the target starch loci) and background selection (DArT markers across the remainder of the genome).
The resulting lines are suitable for studying the phenotypes of a number of starch mutations in a common elite background and are available in quantities that allow meaningful analysis of the starch characters to be performed. With JIC and the consortium of interested parties (including brewers, maltsters and bakers who were involved in guiding the project from its inception) we will soon understand the effects of changes in four starch genes on the processing qualities of barley. As we have a wealth of morphological and genetic information for each line, this material is also a valuable resource for the plant genetics community.
Figure 1; Smart Carbohydrate Centre; making normal seeds containing novel starch. The seeds on the left are a novel starch parent with typically shrunken grains whilst the seeds to the right are an improved BC2F5 line that contains the mutant starch allele.
Figure 2; The Smart Carbohydrate Centre; creating normal seeds containing novel starch
Howell, P., Leigh, F., Bates, R., Gosman, N., Trafford, K., Powell, W., Smith, A.M., Greenland, A. (2014), Rapid marker-assisted development of advanced recombinant lines from barley starch mutants. Molecular Breeding Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 243-248
Howard, T.P., Fahy, B., Leigh, F., Howell, P., Powell, W., Greenland, A., Trafford, K., Smith, A.M. (2014). Use of advanced recombinant lines to study the impact and potential of mutations affecting starch synthesis in barley. Journal of Cereal Science, 59(2), 196-202.
Howard, T.P., Fahy, B., Craggs, A., Mumford, R., Leigh, F., Howell, P., Greenland, A., Smith, A.M. (2012). Barley mutants with low rates of endosperm starch synthesis have low grain dormancy and high susceptibility to preharvest sprouting. New Phytol, 194(1), 158-167.
Howard T. et al (2011) Identification of a major QTL controlling the content of B-type starch granules in Aegliops. Journal of Experimental Botany doi:10.1093/jxb/erq423