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J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Nov 12;56(21):9699-709. doi: 10.1021/jf8009574. Epub 2008 Oct 15.

The HEALTHGRAIN Cereal Diversity Screen: concept, results, and prospects.

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  • 1Centre for Crop Genetic Improvement, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 2JQ, United Kingdom.


One hundred and fifty bread wheat lines and 50 other lines of small-grain cereals (spelt, durum wheat, Triticum monococcum, Triticum dicoccum, oats, rye, and barley) were selected for diversity in their geographical origin, age, and characteristics. They were grown on a single site in Hungary in 2004-2005, harvested, milled, and analyzed for a range of phytochemicals (tocols, sterols, phenolic acids, folates, alkylresorcinols) and fiber components that are considered to have health benefits. Detailed analyses of these components in the different species are reported in a series of accompanying papers. The present paper discusses the comparative levels of the bioactive components in the different species, showing differences in both ranges and mean amounts. Furthermore, detailed comparisons of the bread wheat lines show that it is possible to identify lines in which high levels of phytochemicals and dietary fiber components are combined with good yield and processing quality. This means that commercially competitive lines with high levels of bioactive components are a realistic goal for plant breeders.

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