Submitted to: Oat International Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 14, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The consumption of oat products by individuals can lower their blood cholesterol. The component of the oat responsible for this effect is called beta-glucan. As part of our efforts to increase the beta-glucan contents of oat, it was important for us to determine when, during the development of the oat kernel, is the beta-glucan produced. Our studies indicated protein and starch contents of developing oats increased in a linear fashion, but beta-glucan accumulated primarily late in development, after most other components had already been deposited. It is likely that environmental stress that might lead to an early end to grain development would affect beta-glucan more than other storage components.
Technical Abstract: The mixed linkage (1-3), (1-4)-beta-D-glucan (beta-glucan) component of oat grain are of particular importance because of the hypocholesterolemic effects it imparts to humans when it is incorporated into the diet. This study sought to determine the developmental sequence of beta-glucan deposition in oat relative to protein and starch. Oat (Avena sativa L.) cultivars Marion and Premier were grown in a randomized complete block experimental design with 3 replicates, and panicles were harvested at 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35 days after anthesis. Analyses of groats indicated that dry weight, starch and protein contents increased linearly from 7 to 28 days after anthesis, but beta-glucan accumulation was delayed until 14 days after anthesis, then increased curvilinearly up until 28 days. Kernels were essentially mature after 28 days after anthesis. Because beta-glucan accumulation occurs primarily late in development, it is likely that environmental stress that might lead to an early end to grain development would affect beta-glucan more than other storage components.