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Environ Pollut. 1990;65(2):181-92.

Effects of ozone on the grain composition of spring wheat grown in open-top field chambers.

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  • 1Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Agrikulturchemie und Umwelthygiene, CH-3097 Liebefeld-Bern, Switzerland.


In a three-year study carried out at a rural site in Switzerland, spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Albis) was exposed to different levels of ozone (O(3)) in open-top-field chambers from the two-leaf stage until harvest. Field plots in ambient air (AA) were used for comparison. Grain recovered from the different treatments was analyzed for minerals (Ca, Mg, K, P), starch, protein, amino acids and alpha-tocopherol, in order to investigate the effect of O(3) on grain composition. Chamber-enclosure had small effects on some parameters (K, protein), but not on others (starch), as shown by the comparison of data from the AA and non-filtered-air treatment (NF). Differences between NF and charcoal-filtered air (CF) were very small. At O(3) concentrations higher than in the NF treatment (O(3)-1 = 1.5xNF and O(3)-2 = 2.5xNF), mineral contents were higher than in the NF and CF treatments. Protein content was increased only in the O(3)-2 treatment. Starch contents decreased from about 63% in the CF treatment to 54% in the O(3)-2 tratment. No effect of O(3) on the content of alpha-tocopherol and on the essential amino acid index of the protein was observed. It is concluded that compositional changes in wheat grain in response to O(3) are minor, and that ambient O(3) is not likely to cause important changes.

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