Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/8/2007
Publication Date: 11/7/2007
Citation: Chernyshova, A.A., White, P.J., Scott, M.P., Jannink, J. 2007. Selection for nutritional function and agronomic performance in oat. Crop Science. 47:2330-2339. Interpretive Summary: Heart disease and diabetes are serious problems in the U.S. Diets rich in oats are beneficial to people with these conditions. It has been shown that the health benefit of oats is linked to the content of beta-glucan in the grain. It may be possible to produce oats with increased beta glucan levels by plant breeding, increasing the benefits of oat consumption or reducing the amount of oats required to obtain the benefit. In this study, we determined the feasibility of breeding for oats with increased beta-glucan content by examining the variation in agronomic traits and beta glucan content in an oat breeding population. We found significant variation in beta glucan content, suggesting selection for high-beta glucan varieties should be feasible. Deveopment of high beta-glucan oat varieties will benefit the US population by increasing the effectiveness of a proven dietary treatment for heart disease and diabetes.
Technical Abstract: The soluble fiber (1'3),(1'4)-'-D-glucan has been identified as an active component of oat (Avena sativa, L.) that lowers serum cholesterol, reduces the risk of heart disease and colon cancer, and alleviates the symptoms of diabetes. Those beneficial effects may be caused by the ability of beta-glucan to generate viscosity in the digestive system. The objective of this study was to estimate the genetic components of variance for beta-glucan content and oat slurry viscosity in a population derived from the cross of high beta-glucan with elite agronomic oat lines. Twelve high beta-glucan inbred lines were crossed with twelve inbred lines with good agronomic performance. The F3:4 generation was evaluated in 2005 at two Iowa locations. The range in beta-glucan content was 37.1 g kg-1 to 73.5 g kg-1. A positive correlation (r2=0.38) was found between beta-glucan content and log-transformed viscosity. High beta-glucan lines tended to have low grain yield and biomass. Significant variation among families and among lines within families were observable for most traits, suggesting selection for beta-glucan content, viscosity, and viscosity deviation should be feasible.