Graham’s research provides an understanding of chromosome pairing within wheat and enables the incorporation of genes from wild relatives into the wheat genome to provide beneficial traits for yield and resilience.
His research has focused on recombination within the cereals.
Graham is also working to understand the genes involved in the temperature sensitivity of meiosis which will be important for growing wheat in a warming environment.
- Wheat breeding
- Genetic recombination in wheat and cereals
- The effect of temperature on meiosis
Inducing chromosomes derived from different wheat varieties to recombine is fundamental to plant breeding. Fertility of polyploid species, such as many flowering plants, depends on pairing and recombination at meiosis occurring only between true homologous chromosomes.
Pairing between the highly related, but more diverged homoeologous chromosomes also present does not produce fertile plants.
In hexaploid wheat, a single major locus (Ph1) ensures that chromosome pairing and recombination at meiosis is restricted to true homologues.
Investigating the mechanism of Ph1 provides novel insights into the control and regulation of homologue recognition and crossover.
To this end, Graham’s group developed the concept of cereal synteny and applied this to characterise the Ph1 locus.
At the same time, in collaboration with Peter Shaw, they have been applying cell biology approaches to investigate the Ph1 mechanism.
The group is also involved in understanding the effect of temperature on wheat meiosis, and its subsequent effect on seed set.
Alabdullah A. K. A., Borrill P. B., Martin A. C. M., Ramirez-Gonzalez R. R. G., Hassani-Pak K. H. P., Uauy C. U., Shaw P. S., Moore G. (2019)A co-expression network in hexaploid wheat reveals mostly balanced expression and lack of significant gene loss of homeologous meiotic genes upon polyploidization.Frontiers in Plant SciencesPublisher's version: doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01325
Rey M. D., Martin A. C., Smedley M., Hayta S., Harwood W., Shaw P., Graham M. (2020)Magnesium Increases Homoeologous Crossover Frequency During Meiosis in ZIP4 (Ph1 Gene) Mutant Wheat-Wild Relative HybridsPublisher's version: 1664-8714
Martin A. C., Borrill P., Higgins J., Alabdullah A., Ramirez-Gonzalez R. H., Swarbreck D., Uauy C., Shaw P., Moore G. (2018)Genome-Wide Transcription During Early Wheat Meiosis Is Independent of Synapsis, Ploidy Level, and the Ph1 Locus.Frontiers in plant science (9)Publisher's version: 1664-462X