Effects of genotype and environment on free amino acid levels in wheat grain: implications for acrylamide formation during processing
Curtis, T.Y., Muttucumaru, N., Shewry, P.R., Parry, M.A.J., Powers, S.J., Elmore, J.S., Mottram, D.S., Hook, S. and Halford, N.G. (2009) Effects of genotype and environment on free amino acid levels in wheat grain: implications for acrylamide formation during processing. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 57 (3). pp. 1013-1021. ISSN 0021-8561
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1021/jf8031292
Acrylamide forms from free asparagine and reducing sugars during cooking, with asparagine concentration being the key parameter determining the formation in foods produced from wheat flour. In this study free amino acid concentrations were measured in the grain of varieties Spark and Rialto and four doubled haploid lines from a Spark x Rialto mapping population. The parental and doubled haploid lines had differing levels of total free amino acids and free asparagine in the grain, with one line consistently being lower than either parent for both of these factors. Sulfur deprivation led to huge increases in the concentrations of free asparagine and glutamine, and canonical variate analysis showed clear separation of the grain samples as a result of treatment (environment, E) and genotype (G) and provided evidence of G x E interactions. Low grain sulfur and high free asparagine concentration were closely associated with increased risk of acrylamide formation. G, E, and G x E effects were also evident in grain from six varieties of wheat grown at field locations around the United Kingdom in 2006 and 2007. The data indicate that progress in reducing the risk of acrylamide formation in processed wheat products could be made immediately through the selection and cultivation of low grain asparagme varieties and that further genetically driven improvements should be achievable. However, genotypes that are selected should also be tested under a range of environmental conditions.