Black Point is associated with reduced levels of stress, disease- and defence-related proteins in wheat grain

Yunxian Mak*, Robert D. Willows, Thomas H. Roberts, Colin W. Wrigley, Peter J. Sharp, Les Copeland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Black Point in wheat is a dark discoloration at the embryo end of the grain, which causes substantial financial losses to wheat growers due to down-grading of otherwise high-grade wheat. There does not appear to be a single cause for Black Point, although evidence suggests that fungal infection is the main link to Black Point symptoms. We sought to identify grain proteins from Black Point-affected and Black Point-free wheat cultivar SUN239V, which is known to be very susceptible to Black Point. The proteomes of both the germ and endosperm-bran components of Black Point-affected and Black Point-free grain were compared using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) with six replicate gels run for each protein sample. Approximately 1478 discrete protein spots were found in 2-DE gels from the germ fraction of the grain, of which 354 were identified by mass spectrometry (MS). Similarly, 1360 discrete protein spots were found from the endosperm-bran fraction, of which 303 were identified by MS. No proteins of fungal or bacterial origin were positively identified, suggesting that, at least in some cases, Black Point is not associated with microbial activity. Of the germ proteins, 252 were differentially expressed in Black Point-affected tissue, with 67 of these proteins identified by MS. Of the endosperm-bran proteins, 317 were differentially expressed in Black Point-affected tissue, with 86 identified. The largest of 12 functional classes to which the differentially abundant proteins were assigned was the 'stress' class, i.e. products of genes associated with stress, disease and defence. Higher levels of these proteins were found in Black Point-free grain, suggesting that protection from the disease might be afforded by increased levels of the 'stress' proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-189
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Plant Pathology
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2006

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