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Investigating the Metabolic Foundation of Development, Diversity, and Response to High Night Temperature in Rice and Wheat

Nathan Abshire, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


It is necessary to improve crop productivity to feed a growing population and adapt to a changing environment. This is especially important for staple crops such as rice and wheat. Metabolomics has been shown to be a useful tool in this pursuit, bridging the gap between genotype and phenotype, providing a mechanistic understanding of the development of traits throughout development and how the plant adapts to stress. I employed gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCMS) to conduct metabolic profiling to characterize a diverse set of phenotypic conditions in rice and wheat. First, I characterized metabolic changes of rice under high night temperature (HNT) stress, even in conditions in which the phenotypic effect was very mild. Next, I created a metabolic atlas of source and sink tissue in wheat during early grain development and how the metabolic profile changes between day and night. I also discovered how those metabolic profiles change in response to high night temperature stress. Finally, I characterized the metabolic variation across Rice Diversity Panel 1 (RDP1) at the seedling stage and discovered metabolites that correlate to phenotypes at maturity. Together these studies have demonstrated that metabolomics is a valuable resource for characterizing the metabolic basis of HNT stress phenotypes, as well as discovering metabolic effects of HNT that are not visible at the physiological level. I also demonstrated that the metabolic profiles across a diversity panel at the seedling stage could predict mature phenotypes. Together these findings offer a foundation to build off of in future studies and eventually improve production in rice and wheat.

Subject Area

Biochemistry|Plant sciences|Horticulture

Recommended Citation

Abshire, Nathan, "Investigating the Metabolic Foundation of Development, Diversity, and Response to High Night Temperature in Rice and Wheat" (2023). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI30572099.