How does your Grass Grow? Defining the Molecular Mechanisms of Cereal Development to Boost Grain Yield and Quality

1:00pm - 2:00pm / Monday 23rd March 2020 / Venue: LT1 Life Sciences Building
Type: Seminar / Category: Research / Series: GSTT Seminar Series
  • Suitable for: Those interested in Genomes, Systems and Therapeutic Targeting
  • Admission: Free
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Speaker: Sarah McKim (University of Dundee)

Plant architecture describes how plant body parts are put together. Different plant species often have different architectures but architectural variation also occurs within species. Selection of higher-yielding architectural variants within cereal species was essential to domesticate the grain crops which now form the basis of our food supply. Sarah’s group studies the molecular genetic pathways underpinning variation in cereal architecture to reveal its origin but also rapid and sustainable routes to improved crop performance. Sarah uses barley as a model system, exploiting its extensive mutant collections, transgenic tractability and ever-expanding genomic tools. Sarah has discovered and characterised the roles of several key transcription factors and epigenetic regulators in the control of multiple agronomic traits (Houston et al., 2013; Bull et al., 2017; Zwirek et al., 2018; Patil et al., 2019). In this seminar, Sarah will describe unpublished work which explores mechanisms responsible for grain size and quality. She will reveal key genetic networks and signalling pathways which influence grain by affecting floret architecture as well as the developmental trajectory of maternal tissues enclosing the seed.