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Improvement of pea seed protein through genetics and biotechnology - AR0105

The objective is to alter the composition of the pea seed, by creating new genotypes, in order to make the crop more competitive with imported commodities as a raw material for animal feed [Revised ROAME A, Forward Objective A3(b)]. We propose to assess the prospects for manipulating seed protein composition as a means to alter total protein content, through investigation of a) natural and induced (genetically manipulated) variation in composition, b) genetic analysis of protein content and c) environmental perturbations of seed protein composition. The newly identified and/or novel variation and the derived information will provide germplasm and a knowledge base for pea breeding programmes aimed at the improvement of alternative sources of protein to those currently imported for animal feed. Peas are a model system for other legumes and so the acquired knowledge will have application in other leguminous species.
1, 2 and 3 refer to numbers given in Scientific Content (8)
1/01: To establish the methodology for rapid analysis of albumin contents of small seed samples by October 1998. For immunochemical methods, the predominant albumin proteins will be purified and antibodies raised against them (April 1999).
1/02: To screen germplasm for extreme variants of 11S and albumin contents (at least 20 samples, but depends on methodology) by October 1999.
1/03: To produce and test promoter-gene constructs aimed initially at the suppression of synthesis of 11S protein gene classes and the over-expression of an albumin gene in transformed pea seeds. [Depending on success/outcome here, the number of constructs utilized could be expanded to include other protein genes whose reduced expression may allow for a higher overall synthesis of seed protein] (April 1999).
1/04: To produce and analyse transformed pea plants by April 2001, using at least two constructs.
2/01: To analyse pea genotypes, that are the parents of existing recombinant inbred (RI) populations, for protein content by April 1999. [The methodology used here for total protein will be harmonized with that selected and utilized for characterization of the rug mutant peas (Dr. C. Hedley’s project proposal).] Existing RI populations will be screened, if appropriate, by April 2001.
2/02: To identify suitable parents, to provide markers (QTL) for seed protein content, by April 2000; genetic crosses using these lines will be performed by April 2001 to establish RI populations
3/01: The stress imposed by mild drought on plants is likely to have a major influence on seed protein synthetic machinery in non-diseased plants. Controlled environment optimal conditions will be established in year 1 for induction of marker proteins in vegetative organs, while allowing for flowering, seed development and maturation.
3/02: To analyse vegetative organs and seeds from stressed and unstressed plants grown under controlled environmental conditions for expression of marker genes and proteins by April 2000.
3/03: To analyse stress-responses of lines identified in 2/02, as outlined for 3/02, to establish whether variation in seed protein content is related to variation in extent of stress-induced protein synthesis in vegetative organs, by April 2001.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Improvement of pea seed protein through genetics and biotechnology   (1142k)
• Final Report - Annex : Improvement of pea seed protein through genetics and biotechnology - Appendix   (4866k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1998

To: 2004

Cost: £538,294
Contractor / Funded Organisations
John Innes Centre (BBSRC)
Arable Farming              
Crop Improvement              
Fields of Study
Arable Crops