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J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Feb 9;59(3):928-33. doi: 10.1021/jf103860x. Epub 2011 Jan 10.

Relationship between the contents of bioactive components in grain and the release dates of wheat lines in the HEALTHGRAIN diversity screen.

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  • 1Department of Plant Science, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, UK.


The EU FP6 HEALTHGRAIN has generated an extensive database on the contents of phytochemicals (alkylresorcinols, tocols, sterols, phenolic acids, folates) and dietary fiber components in the grain of wheat, including analyses of 150 lines grown on a single site in Hungary in 2005 and a smaller set of lines grown under five (three lines) or six (23 lines) different environments (in Hungary in 2005, 2006, and 2007 and in France, Poland, and the United Kingdom in 2007). The lines analyzed included land races and varieties bred between the mid-19th and early 21st centuries. These results have been analyzed to determine whether the contents of these groups of bioactive components in the grain have decreased with the development of intensive plant breeding in the second part of the 20th century. No decreases in the contents of any groups of bioactive components were observed in relation to release date, showing that selection for increased yield and protein quality has been effectively neutral for other grain components.

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