Plant Quality and Production

The project "Development of plants for production of food colors" is a collaboration between Chr. Hansens laboratory and two departments on KU plus the potato breeding company LKF Vandel, supported by Grønt udviklings- og Demonstrations Program, GUDP.  

A major part of the activities with a number of different plant species goes for development of carrots with higher content of anthocyanin and beta-carotene pigments for food color production. Sabine Clausen is PostDoc on this part of the project, which will use quantitative genetic approaches and in vitro mutation in cell culture to increase content of color pigments in different types of carrot.

Dual purpose wheat
A project focusing on straw and grain quality in winter wheat is conducted by PhD student Pernille Malik.  The aim is to identify SNP markers that can select for a high straw and grain quality by using both family and population mapping. The phenotyping and genotyping of winter wheat is conducted in collaboration
with Sejet Plant Breeding who delivers all straw material for further sugar analysis. Genome-wide association studies will be used for gene-discovery and QTL mapping. The purpose is to improve wheat breeding programs
such that the breeders can utilize both grain and straw in a more sustainable manner.

Genomic Prediction in Winter Barley
This project aims at developing genomic selection models for seed quality related traits in winter barley as well as investigating the genomic backgrounds of some of these traits. As Industrial partners in GenSAP, Nordic Seed and Sejet Breeding Company provide

Manhatthan Plot for Barley chromosones.

data and seed materials for use. Specific seed weight, protein content, seed fraction weight, phytic acid, inorganic phosphorus and starch components are among some of the traits being modelled for. Read more about GenSAP. (Contact: Theresa Ayirebi)

Metabolism of phytic acid
In cereal seeds, phosphorous is primarily deposited in protein storage vacuoles as phytic acids (PA) together with minerals. Even if the same core set of enzymes should exist throughout the plant kingdom, the organisation of biosynthesis, translocation, site of accumulation and storage vary among species. Isolated phytate globoids rice and wheat bran was characterized and K>Mg>Ca>Fe were found as the main minerals.

Multiple activities of inositol-phosphate-kinases provide more degrees of freedom for controlling and fine tuning the PA biosynthesis during the seed development.

The way food is prepared may actually solve problems with PA by the action of endogenous phytases. Low-PA mutant seeds can potentially reduce the troubles with P management in husbundry and as genotypic variation is also known for mineral content, mutational breeding provides a useful way of creating diversity.