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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #344718

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Hard Winter Wheat to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses

Location: Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research

Title: Variation in asparagine concentration in Nebraska wheat

item NAVROTSKYI, SVIATOSLAV - University Of Nebraska
item BAENZIGER, P. STEPHEN - University Of Nebraska
item REGASSA, TESHOME - University Of Nebraska
item Guttieri, Mary
item ROSE, DEVIN - University Of Nebraska

Submitted to: Cereal Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/28/2017
Publication Date: 12/9/2017
Citation: Navrotskyi, S., Baenziger, P., Regassa, T., Guttieri, M.J., Rose, D. 2017. Variation in asparagine concentration in Nebraska wheat. Cereal Chemistry. 95(2):264-273.

Interpretive Summary: The amino acid, asparagine, is the critical precursor to acrylamide formation during food preparation. Acrylamide is hazardous to human health, and minimizing the concentration in food products is important. The goal of this research was to evaluate the range in asparagine concentration in grain harvested of three widely grown winter wheat varieties and a set of diverse breeding lines in test plots grown across a range of Nebraska environments. Both the wheat cultivar and the growing environment were important determinants of asparagine concentration in grain. Reliable differences between cultivars indicate that asparagine concentration could be reduced by breeding. Asparagine concentration was positively associated with kernel size and weight, two important determinants of grain yield, and with grain protein concentration, an important determinant of baking quality. The key environmental factors affecting asparagine concentration are unclear and need to be the focus of further studies.

Technical Abstract: The concentration of asparagine in wheat grain depends on both genetics and environmental factors, therefore study of different wheat cultivars, growing locations and crops years is needed for proper evaluation of potential risks of acrylamide formation in baked products made from Nebraska wheats. Three widely grown wheat cultivars (‘Goodstreak’, ‘Camelot’, ‘Freeman’) and seven experimental lines (‘NE14434’, ‘NE14607’, ‘NE14674’, ‘NE14606’, ‘NE14656’, ‘NE14658’, ‘NE14696’) were grown at five locations in 2014 in an augmented incomplete block design. Due to the large effect of environment on asparagine concentration, asparagine concentration in the named cultivars was also evaluated at twelve locations in 2016. Asparagine concentration varied widely among samples (200-1100 mg/kg). In 2014, the highest concentration of asparagine was measured in wheat grains grown at North Platte due to higher solar radiation caused by prolonged harvest period in this location. In 2016, the highest asparagine concentration was measured in wheat grains grown in Mead, which was likely due to disease pressure in this location. In pairwise comparisons among all 17 locations sampled, asparagine concentration was generally lower in the cultivar Freeman compared with Goodstreak and Camelot. Asparagine concentration was positively correlated with kernel size (r=0.37; p<0.01) and weight (r=0.37; p=0.03). Wheat grains produced in Nebraska can have a large variation in free asparagine concentration. The major differences in asparagine concentration were due to the growing environment, and the cultivar Freeman may be a low asparagine accumulating genotype.