Transcriptional changes during barley grain development

Barley is a globally important cereal crop, so understanding barley grain development is of much interest. Here, Kovacik et al. investigated transcriptional changes in barley grains at five points across development, 4, 8, 16, 24 and 32 days after pollination. For each time point, grains were manually dissected into embryo, endosperm and seed maternal tissues, flow cytometry was used to check the purity of the dissections, and samples were sent for RNA sequencing. Principal component analysis revealed that there was large transcriptional reprogramming between 8 and 24 days after pollination, whilst there were fewer transcriptional changes at later stages of development (24-32 days after pollination). GO term analysis showed that pathways were differentially expressed in different tissues, for example isoprenoid biosynthesis genes were specifically upregulated in seed maternal tissues between 4 and 16 days after pollination, whilst mRNA splicing genes were specifically enriched in the embryo at 16 and 24 days after pollination. All in all, this paper contains a plethora of transcriptional data which enhances our understanding of barley grain development and notably, the data has been uploaded onto BAR ePlant so it is easily accessible. (Summary by Rose McNelly @Rose_McN) Plant Cell 10.1093/plcell/koae095