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Signal Transduction Pathways in Wheat

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With roughly 700 million metric tons produced annually, wheat is the second most cultivated cereal after corn. Wheat represents roughly 20% of the total human dietary calories and protein intake worldwide. The impacts of climate change and the increasing global population is placing a heavy burden on wheat ...

With roughly 700 million metric tons produced annually, wheat is the second most cultivated cereal after corn. Wheat represents roughly 20% of the total human dietary calories and protein intake worldwide. The impacts of climate change and the increasing global population is placing a heavy burden on wheat researchers to develop cultivars with improved yield potential and resistance to various biotic and abiotic stresses. Applied wheat research worldwide has led to significant improvements in disease management and yield optimization. However, due to the genetic complexity of wheat, upstream research in this crop is lagging behind that of other species. Indeed, while a great deal of academic research on signal transduction pathways has been carried out in model plants, such as Arabidopsis and rice, considerably less information is available in wheat. Importantly, many signaling pathways have been shown to be different in cereals compared with model species. While Brachypodium has emerged as an attractive model for wheat research, results do not translate into the farmer’s field. Common bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is an allohexaploid species with seven chromosome pairs for each of three genomes (AABBDD). The genome is roughly 17 Gb in size and is composed of 75-85% repetitive elements. Durum wheat (Triticum durum D.), commonly used for pastas, is an allotetraploid (AABB). International sequencing initiatives are facilitating advances in molecular biology and biochemistry research in wheat.
Cell signaling networks regulate cell biology and are central to relaying information from cell-to-cell and from one tissue to another. The activation of plant defence responses to both abiotic and biotic stresses often occurs through cell surface interactions with activation of receptors, ion channels, protein kinases, and phytohormone signaling cascades. The signals are transported to the nucleus and/or different parts of the plant cell in order to disseminate appropriate physiological and biochemical changes that lead to a response against the stress imposed. Signal transduction pathways mediated by protein kinases, ion channels and phytohormones are also key players in regulating changes in plant development and basic cellular activities such as cell cycle, photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation.
This Research Topic is intended to draw focus on cell signaling research progress in wheat molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology. Genomics-based research will be considered, but an emphasis on cellular communication upstream of gene expression are favoured. All article types are welcome pertaining to important traits in wheat, such as abiotic and biotic stress resistance, plant development and yield. Relevant articles that do not target a specific trait are also welcome, provided that they offer important technological advances, such as methodologies or protocols that enable advanced cell signaling research in wheat.


Keywords: cereals, electrophysiology, plant pathogens, environmental stress, growth and development


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