Determination of growth stages and metabolic profiles in Brachypodium distachyon for comparison of developmental context with Triticeae crops

Yoshihiko Onda, Kei Hashimoto, Takuhiro Yoshida, Tetsuya Sakurai, Yuji Sawada, Masami Yokota Hirai, Kiminori Toyooka, Keiichi Mochida, Kazuo Shinozaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Brachypodium distachyon is an emerging model plant for studying biological phenomena in temperate grasses. Study of the growth scale is essential to analyse spatio-temporal changes in molecular factors throughout the life cycle. For sensitive and robust staging based on morphology in B. distachyon, we demonstrated the utility of the BBCH (Biologische Bundesanstalt, Bundessortenamt and CHemical industry) scale, which is comparable to the Zadoks scale conventionally used for Triticeae crops. We compared the chronological progression of B. distachyon accessions Bd21 and Bd3-1, in addition to the progression of Chinese Spring wheat. The comparison of growth stages illustrates the morphological similarities and differences in the timing of life cycle events. Furthermore,we compared metabolite accumulation patterns across different growth stages and across different stress conditions using a widely targeted metabolome analysis. Metabolic profiling determined commonalities and specificities in chemical properties that were dependent on organisms, growth stages and/or stress conditions. Most metabolites accumulated equivalently in B. distachyon and wheat. This qualitative similarity indicated the superiority of B. distachyon as a model for Triticeae crops. The growth scale of B. distachyon should provide a conceptual framework for comparative analysis and for knowledge integration between this model grass and crops in the Pooideae subfamily.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20150964
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1811
Publication statusPublished - Jul 8 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • BBCH scale
  • Brachypodium distachyon
  • Growth staging
  • Metabolome
  • Pooideae
  • Zadoks scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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