Increasing crop yield and resilience with trehalose 6-phosphate: targeting a feast-famine mechanism in cereals for better source-sink optimisation

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Paul, M. J., Oszvald, M., Jesus, C., Rajulu, C. and Griffiths, C. A. 2017. Increasing crop yield and resilience with trehalose 6-phosphate: targeting a feast-famine mechanism in cereals for better source-sink optimisation. Journal of Experimental Botany. 68 (16), pp. 4455-4462.

AuthorsPaul, M. J., Oszvald, M., Jesus, C., Rajulu, C. and Griffiths, C. A.
Abstract

Food security is a pressing global issue. New approaches are required to break through a yield ceiling that has developed in recent years for the major crops. As important as increasing yield potential is the protection of yield from
abiotic stresses in an increasingly variable and unpredictable climate. Current strategies to improve yield include conventional breeding, marker-assisted breeding, quantitative trait loci (QTLs), mutagenesis, creation of hybrids, genetic
modification (GM), emerging genome-editing technologies, and chemical approaches. A regulatory mechanism amenable to three of these approaches has great promise for large yield improvements. Trehalose 6-phosphate (T6P)
synthesized in the low-flux trehalose biosynthetic pathway signals the availability of sucrose in plant cells as part of
a whole-plant sucrose homeostatic mechanism. Modifying T6P content by GM, marker-assisted selection, and novel
chemistry has improved yield in three major cereals under a range of water availabilities from severe drought through
to flooding. Yield improvements have been achieved by altering carbon allocation and how carbon is used. Targeting
T6P both temporally and spatially offers great promise for large yield improvements in productive (up to 20%) and
marginal environments (up to 120%). This opinion paper highlights this important breakthrough in fundamental science for crop improvement.

KeywordsCrops; photosynthesis; SnRK1; source–sink; sugar signalling; trehalose 6-phosphate
Year of Publication2017
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Journal citation68 (16), pp. 4455-4462
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1093/jxb/erx083
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeWheat
Increasing wheat drought tolerance and recovery throughout the life cycle through regulation of plant growth mechanisms
Trehalose signalling: understanding and exploiting an emerging small molecule carbohydrate paradigm
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online16 Feb 2017
Publication process dates
Accepted24 Jan 2017
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP) Oxford
Oxford University Press (OUP)
Copyright licensePublisher copyright
ISSN0022-0957

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