"Phosphorus is an essential plant nutrient and is limiting for crop yield on up to 40% of arable land worldwide, including Europe. The major scope of current proposal is the exploitation of strategies to improve the phosphate use efficiency of a key crop, foxtail millet (Setaria italica). Several families of membrane transport proteins are involved in the uptake of Pi from soil and its distribution within the plant. These transport proteins are referred as Pht1. In this study we propose to characterise the Pht1 family of Seteria italica and determine whether manipulation of expression level or affinity for substrate is a useful approach for improving phosphate use efficiency. Molecular approached involved in this study include gene expression studies of the phosphate transporter (Pht1) family from foxtail millet (Seterica italica), construction of a homology models of all expressed SiPht1genes, down regulation of the major low P inducible root and shoot transporters by RNAi, cloning the most significant members of this family and confirm their function by expression in heterologous systems. Site directed mutagenesis guided by the homology model will also be performed to identify important residues. Finally, millet will be transformed with wild type and selected mutants and tested for the performance on different phosphorous regimes. This study underpins the efficient phosphate usage in foxtail millet and help to improve the yield in other crops by utilizing the technology"
Fields of science
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call