From metabolome to phenotype: GC-MS metabolomics of developing mutant barley seeds reveals effects of growth, temperature and genotype

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The development of crop varieties tolerant to growth temperature fluctuations and improved nutritional value is crucial due to climate change and global population growth. This study investigated the metabolite patterns of developing barley seed as a function of genotype and growth temperature for ideal vegetable protein production and for augmented β-glucan production. Seeds from three barley lines (Bomi, lys3.a and lys5.f) were sampled eight times during grain filling and analysed for metabolites using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The lys3.a mutation disrupts a regulator gene, causing an increase in proteins rich in the essential amino acid lysine, while lys5.f carries a mutation in an ADP-glucose transporter gene leading to a significant increase in production of mixed-linkage β-glucan at the expense of α-glucan. Unique metabolic patterns associated with the tricarboxylic acid cycle, shikimate-phenylpropanoid pathway, mevalonate, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism were observed for the barley mutants, whereas growth temperature primarily affected shikimate-phenylpropanoid and lipid metabolism. The study applied recently developed GC-MS metabolomics methods and demonstrated their successful application to link genetic and environmental factors with the seed phenotype of unique and agro-economically important barley models for optimal vegetable protein and dietary fibre production.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8195
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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  • Journal Article

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