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