Barley grain (1,3;1,4)-β-glucan content: effects of transcript and sequence variation in genes encoding the corresponding synthase and endohydrolase enzymes

Guillermo Garcia-Gimenez, Joanne Russell, Matthew K. Aubert, Geoffrey B. Fincher, Rachel A. Burton, Robbie Waugh, Matthew R. Tucker, Kelly Houston (Lead / Corresponding author)

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The composition of plant cell walls is important in determining cereal end uses. Unlike other widely consumed cereal grains barley is comparatively rich in (1,3;1,4)-β-glucan, a source of dietary fibre. Previous work showed Cellulose synthase-like genes synthesise (1,3;1,4)-β-glucan in several tissues. HvCslF6 encodes a grain (1,3;1,4)-β-glucan synthase, whereas the function of HvCslF9 is unknown. Here, the relationship between mRNA levels of HvCslF6, HvCslF9, HvGlbI (1,3;1,4)-β-glucan endohydrolase, and (1,3;1,4)-β-glucan content was studied in developing grains of four barley cultivars. HvCslF6 was differentially expressed during mid (8-15 DPA) and late (38 DPA) grain development stages while HvCslF9 transcript was only clearly detected at 8-10 DPA. A peak of HvGlbI expression was detected at 15 DPA. Differences in transcript abundance across the three genes could partially explain variation in grain (1,3;1,4)-β-glucan content in these genotypes. Remarkably narrow sequence variation was found within the HvCslF6 promoter and coding sequence and does not explain variation in (1,3;1,4)-β-glucan content. Our data emphasise the genotype-dependent accumulation of (1,3;1,4)-β-glucan during barley grain development and a role for the balance between hydrolysis and synthesis in determining (1,3;1,4)-β-glucan content, and suggests that other regulatory sequences or proteins are likely to be involved in this trait in developing grain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17250
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2019


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