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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Corn, Soybean and Wheat Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #361770

Research Project: Genetic and Biochemical Basis of Soft Winter Wheat End-Use Quality

Location: Corn, Soybean and Wheat Quality Research

Title: Environmental impact on cereal crop grain damage from pre-harvest sprouting and late maturity alpha amylase

Author
item PATWA, NISHA - Orise Fellow
item Penning, Bryan

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/19/2019
Publication Date: 6/15/2020
Citation: Patwa, N., Penning, B. 2020. Environmental impact on cereal crop grain damage from pre-harvest sprouting and late maturity alpha amylase. In: Roychowdhury, R., Choudhury, S., Hasanuzzaman, M., Srivastava, S., editors. Sustainable Agriculture in the Era of Climate Change. New York, NY: Springer International Publishing. P. 23-38.

Interpretive Summary: Pre-harvest sprouting (PHS) and late maturity alpha amylase (LMA) result from increasing enzyme activity in wheat, rice, and barley seeds prior to harvest. This leads to undesirable seed starch damage. The damage reduces crop values by 30% and in severe cases makes them usable only as animal feed. Large temperature changes and rainy conditions near harvest lead to PHS and LMA. While weather cannot be controlled in the field, genetic resistance or tolerance is possible. Developing tolerance for PHS and LMA is complicated by the many factors that lead to starch damage. In this book chapter we review how damage from PHS and LMA is measured, what environmental factors affect them and what physical, chemical and genetic factors influence them. We discuss how severity of PHS and LMA can be minimized with occurrences increasing in crops that form the bulk of calories consumed world-wide.

Technical Abstract: Pre-harvest sprouting (PHS) and late maturity alpha amylase (LMA) result from increased alpha amylase (AA) activity in wheat, rice, barley, rye, and maize grain prior to harvest leading to undesirable degradation of seed starch. The starch degradation can reduce grain quality and thus crop values by up to 30% and in severe cases make them unfit for human consumption and usable only as animal feed. Specific environmental conditions of temperature and rain occurring at or near seed maturity lead to the onset of PHS or LMA. While environmental effects cannot be controlled in the field, genetic resistance/tolerance is possible. Genetic control of PHS and LMA is complicated by the numerous factors involved in modulating AA which ultimately leads to starch degradation. This includes: multiple enzymatic pathways, multiple plant hormones, a complex signaling pathway, several physical factors, and potential protein inhibitors that have been found to mitigate AA. Here we review how AA activity is measured, what environmental, physical, chemical, and genetic factors influence it, and perspective on how PHS and LMA can be best mitigated with changes in climate favoring an increase in their occurrence in cereal crops which form the bulk of calories consumed world-wide.