Trehalose 6-phosphate signalling and impact on crop yield

The domestication and breeding of crops has been a major achievement for mankind enabling the development of stable societies and civilisation. Crops have become more productive per unit area of cultivated land over the course of domestication supporting a current global population of 7.8 billion. Food security crops such as wheat and maize have seen large changes compared with early progenitors. Amongst processes that have been altered in these crops, is the allocation of carbon resources to support larger grain yield (grain number and size). In wheat, reduction in stem height has enabled diversion of resources from stems to ears. This has freed up carbon to support greater grain yield. Green revolution genes responsible for reductions in stem height are known, but a unifying mechanism for the active regulation of carbon resource allocation towards and within sinks has however been lacking. The trehalose 6-phosphate (T6P) signalling system has emerged as a mechanism of resource allocation and has been implicated in several crop traits including assimilate partitioning and improvement of yield in different environments. Understanding the mode of action of T6P through the SnRK1 protein kinase regulatory system is providing a basis for a unifying mechanism controlling whole-plant resource allocation and source-sink interactions in crops. Latest results show it is likely that the T6P/SnRK1 pathway can be harnessed for further improvements such as grain number and grain filling traits and abiotic stress resilience through targeted gene editing, breeding and chemical approaches.

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  • Name: Paul, Matthew J., Type: Corresponding Author,
  • Name: Watson, Amy, Type: Author,
  • Name: Griffiths, Cara A., Type: Author,
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Article Is Open Access true
Article License Type cc-by
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DFW Organisation RRes
DFW Work Package 1
DOI 10.1042/bst20200286
Date Last Updated 2020-11-01T13:13:03.108770
Evidence open (via page says license)
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Journal Is Open Access false
Open Access Status hybrid
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