Wheat breeding and evolution Keywords courtesy of www.wordle.net/
Wheat breeding and evolution Keywords courtesy of www.wordle.net/ Learning outcome You will be able to: Identify the part of a wheat plant used to make flour Describe the differences between wild grasses and domesticated wheat
Explain the role of genetics in producing different varieties of wheat Select appropriate flours to use for different foods Compare the properties of different flours Synthetic wheat Scientists in Cambridge have recreated the original rare cross between an ancient wheat and wild grass species that happened in the Middle East 10,000 years ago. If this new wheat is crossed with modern UK
varieties it could increase the yield of wheat grown in the UK. It could also provide a new genetic variety that would make future wheat crops more drought tolerant, disease resistant and requiring less fertiliser. The synthetic wheat programme involves crossing durum pasta wheat with wild goatgrass using traditional crossing techniques in a glasshouse, combined with a tissue culture technique carried out in the laboratory.
Major breakthrough in deciphering bread wheats genetic code In one of the largest genome projects ever undertaken UK scientists have published a draft sequence of the wheat genome. They identified about 96,000 genes and placed them in an approximate order. Completing this sequence represents a major achievement because wheat has a very large and complex genome. Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) is a complex hybrid, composed of the complete genomes of three closely related grasses.
It is like having tens of billions of Scrabble letters; you know which letters are present, and their quantities, but they need to be assembled on the board in the right sequence before you can spell out their order into genes Professor Neil Hall. The research will accelerate wheat improvement by allowing wheat breeders and scientists to identify useful genetic variation and select plants that can resist drought and disease. Interesting fact: The bread wheat genome is five times larger than the human genome
and there are three genomes in each plant. Historic grain collections help preserve future biodiversity One key to maintaining world food security is to preserve biodiversity in food crop species. The John Innes Centre Germplasm Resources Unit is the largest collection of cereals and plant seeds in the UK and includes important wheat, oat and barley varieties. The collections include 9,533 wheat
varieties from all the wheat-growing regions of the world, 32 countries in total. Seeds are sent out for use in both research and plant-breeding programmes, as well as for educational purposes in the UK and across the world. Wheat defence against Septoria: two genes in the front line When pathogens attack wheat plant leaves, the leaves release signals that the
plants have evolved to recognise and subsequently initiate a response within the leaf cells to protect themselves against the pathogen. Septoria leaf blotch is one of the most economically damaging diseases of wheat. The disease is caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella graminicola (Mg) and it is a major threat to crop yields in the UK and worldwide. Scientists at Rothamsted Research have identified two genes in wheat which are
crucial to resisting infection by this fungal disease. Rothamsted Wheat Trial: Second generation GM technology to emulate natural plant defence mechanisms Aphids (also known as greenfly and blackfly) are unwelcome visitors that suck sap from plants. They cause significant damage to agriculture and reduce farmers yields by damaging crops and spreading plant diseases such as barley yellow dwarf virus.
Currently a large proportion of UK wheat is treated with broad spectrum chemical insecticides to control cereal aphids. Unfortunately, repeated use of insecticides often leads to resistant aphids and kills other non-target insect species including the natural enemies of aphids. Scientists from Rothamsted Research have conducted a controlled experiment, combining modern genetic engineering with their knowledge of natural plant defences to test whether wheat can repel aphid attack in the field. Their approach has been to use a natural odour, or alarm pheromone, which aphids produce to alert one another to danger. This odour also attracts the natural enemies of
aphids, e.g. ladybirds. All about wheat Wheat is a staple crop for a significant proportion of the worlds population. Wheat cultivation occupies more land than any other commercial crop. In 2000, enough wheat to cover an area nine times the size of the UK was produced worldwide. Wheat can be traced back to 10,000 BC. Wheat is rich in carbohydrates, protein and
essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins B and E, calcium and iron, as well as fibre. Wheat is the most important UK crop with an annual value of about 1.6 billion. You can try the quiz at www.allaboutwheat.info/quiz/default.html Quiz - Questions 1.How far back can we trace wheat? 2.Who were the first people to make bread using yeast?
3.What is the Norfolk four-course? 4.Who invented the mechanical seed-drill? 5.Where is the national small grain cereals collection? 6.What is gluten? 7.Which vitamin is found in wheatgerm? 8.How many grains are there in 100 kilos of wheat? 9.Which country produces the most wheat? 10. What is durum wheat used for? Quiz - answers 1.12,000 years
2.Egyptians 3.A crop rotation method 4.Jethro Tull 5.John Innes Centre 6.Protein 7.Vitamin E 8.2,000,000 9.China 10.Pasta On your marks, Get Set, Thresh!
Image 1 Copyright The Pirbright Institute Image 2 Copyright Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies UK Ltd Image 3 Copyright Babraham 2010 Image 4 Copyright Thinkstock 2011 Image 5 Copyright Babraham 2012 Learning outcomes You will be able to: Identify the part of a wheat plant used to make flour Describe the differences between wild grasses and domesticated wheat Anatomy of wheat
The ears of a domesticated wheat plant are dramatically different to those of their wild relatives. The wild relative has evolved thick outer glumes to protect the small grains from predation and early germination. Domestication has bred
out the thick glumes and selected for much larger grains. Spikelet Glume Ear What you will need: Ears of modern wheat variety Ears of goat grass Timer
How long you have got: 10 minutes What you should do: 1. Form into groups of four 2. Time one person to extract a single grain from an ear of a modern free threshing wheat 3. Record the time 4. Separate the individual spikelets from the stem of each ear of wild goatgrass 5. Now time one person to extract a single grain from a wild goatgrass 6. Record the time
7. The other members of your group should now repeat the experiment with the wild goatgrass 8. Record the time 9. Clear up the threshed grains and remaining wheat and place in the bin 10. Wash your hands 11. Think about your answers to the following questions Discussion questions: 1. Which was harder to extract and why? 2. How would you describe the differences in the size and shape of the grains? 3. How could you speed this up to extract the grain from
a field of wheat? 4. How do you think hunter-gatherers began the process of selection and domestication of wheat? 5. What were the extra efforts and rewards of farming versus foraging? 6. What makes one wheat good for growing on a farm and the other good for growing in the wild? Learning outcomes You will be able to: Identify the part of a wheat plant used to make flour
Describe the differences between wild grasses and domesticated wheat Dough washing Image 1 Copyright The Pirbright Institute Image 2 Copyright Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies UK Ltd Image 3 Copyright Babraham 2010 Image 4 Copyright Thinkstock 2011 Image 5 Copyright Babraham 2012 Learning outcomes You will be able to: Compare the properties of different flours
What you will need: Flour Salt Water OR pre-prepared dough Measuring cylinder (250 ml) or measuring jug Cling film Access to a balance Sieve Large bowl Timer
What you should do: If you have flour: 1. Mix 250300 g of flour with 150175 ml of water and a teaspoon of salt until a soft dough is formed 2. Wrap in cling film and record its weight 3. Rest the dough for 60 minutes then continue on to step 4 If you have ready-made dough: 4. Record its weight. 5. Wash over a sieve in several changes of clean water in a large bowl
squeeze the dough as you wash it until the water runs clear 6. Remove excess water with a final squeeze of the dough and reweigh the dough Learning outcomes You will be able to: Compare the properties of different flours Dough rising and baking Image 1 Copyright The Pirbright Institute Image 2 Copyright Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies UK Ltd
Image 3 Copyright Babraham 2010 Image 4 Copyright Thinkstock 2011 Image 5 Copyright Babraham 2012 Learning outcomes You will be able to: Select appropriate flours to use for different foods Compare the properties of different flours What you will need: Timer Flour Salt
Sugar Access to a balance Measuring cylinders (100 ml) Measuring jug Baking parchment Ruler Cling film Water Large bowl Yeast Microwavable plate Microwave
What you should do: 1. Mix 250 g flour, teaspoon salt, teaspoon sugar, teaspoono of quick start yeast and 150160 ml of water (at approx. 30 C) to make soft dough. 2. Add more water if necessary. 3. Place the dough in a 100 ml measuring cylinder, or baking parchment formed into a tube. 4. Record the height of the dough. 5. Prove the dough in a warm place for 3060 minutes. This process is very temperature dependent and you should keep
the dough warm, ideally at 25oC. 6. Bake the dough for 58 minutes in a microwave on a microwavable plate (6 minutes in a 650W microwave). 7. Record the height of the baked dough. Learning outcomes You will be able to: Select appropriate flours to use for different foods Compare the properties of different flours Sedimentation test
Image 1 Copyright The Pirbright Institute Image 2 Copyright Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies UK Ltd Image 3 Copyright Babraham 2010 Image 4 Copyright Thinkstock 2011 Image 5 Copyright Babraham 2012 Learning outcomes You will be able to: Compare the properties of different flours What you will need: Safety glasses Washing-up liquid/vinegar solution
Tubes (preferably boiling tubes with stoppers, or screw-cap plastic tubes) Variety of flours Timer Access to a balance Water Measuring cylinders (10 ml and 50 ml) What you should do: 1. Place 2 g of flour in a tube (preferably a boiling tube or if possible a 50 ml plastic tube with a screw cap) 2. Add 8 ml of water
3. Mix by shaking vigorously for 1020 seconds 4. Add 24 ml of washing-up liquid/vinegar solution to each tube and shake 5. When all the tubes have been filled, shake them again for 1020 seconds 6. Stand tubes for 510 minutes and then check sedimentation levels Learning outcomes You will be able to: Compare the properties of different flours
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