Single cell pollen meiosis screening in wheat

This project will look at wheat meiosis at the single cell level, which has not been done before. The project aims to develop a quick and cheap screening assay to identify meiocytes which we want to look at in more detail (by deeper DNA sequencing) and to discover the level of recombination during wheat meiosis and locate any hot spots.

The Idea

Recombination is a process which takes place during meiosis, a system necessary during gametogenesis in all sexual organisms. The two sets of replicated parental chromosomes undergo crossover formation followed by two rounds of segregation, to produce haploid gametes ready for fertilisation. Variation in the offspring population, caused by meiotic recombination as well as random segregation, is highly important as it creates a fitness in the event of a change in environment or pathogen attack, as well as creating genetic diversity required in agricultural plant breeding.

We would like to screen wheat meiocytes (from a given parent plant) at the single cell level because this will show the extent of meiotic recombination, and any recombination hotspots, without the need to grow hundreds, or thousands of plants. Our method would be a quick, cheap and high-throughput method of scoring new hybrids, and could be used to screen for treatments to affect meiosis. The method would identify which hybrids, or treatments have elevated recombination events, which would be a powerful tool for breeding or programmes and for future research.


The Team

Ms Ashleigh Lister,
Research Assistant, Technical Development, Earlham Institute, Norwich

Dr Iain Macaulay,
Research Group Leader, Technical Development, Earlham Institute, Norwich

Dr Matt Clark,
Head of Technology Development, Earlham Institute, Norwich

Prof Graham Moore,
Research Group Leader, Crop Genetics, John Innes Centre, Norwich

Prof Peter Shaw,
Research Group Leader, Cell and Developmental Biology, John Innes Centre, Norwich

Project Outputs

Project Report

This project is due to report in 2018.

Project Proposal

Original proposal and application


Project Resources