Research assistant from the Institute`s Biotechnology Department Marina Tomičić visited John Innes Centre (JIC) in Norwich, UK between 2nd February and 27th May 2015 as a scholar of the British Scholarship Trust. She pursued specialist studies aimed at improving the profile of seed constituents in legumes for food and feed uses, supervised by Dr Claire Domoney, Head of Metabolic Biology Department. The visit included laboratory training at JIC and the Institute of Food Research (IFR), both being members of Norwich Research Park.
Marina was provided with advanced training in wide range of disciplines acquiring practical skills relevant to the study of legume seed quality (Direct Detect™ seed protein content quantification, seed starch content assay, quantitative and qualitative proteomic analysis by 2-D gel electrophoresis, quantification of oligosaccharides using high performance anion exchange chromatography and pulsed amperometric detection waveform, Gateway method of cloning for transient gene expression).
In the research project that was carried out in the UK, a selection of JIC collection fast neutron mutants that impact on protein quality in pea was analysed, in order to investigate the effects and consequences of losing specific seed storage protein genes on different metabolite levels, offering the potential for re-modelling seed composition and improving value for food and feed industries. Marina actively participated in many activities of the Domoney research group, as well as activities related to FP7 project titled: “Legumes for the agriculture of tomorrow“ (LEGATO), where Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops is a project partner. At the end of the stay at the JIC, in front of the Domony research group, Marina gave a presentation of final results, followed by a joint discussion.
The research conducted at John Innes Centre gave a significant insight into current metabolomics and proteomics techniques. Furthermore, it provided the opportunity to associate researchers from UK and Serbia and to extend the collaboration between two institutes, strengthening legume science network.