Attempts regarding the improvement and development of novel rice with better quality and higher productivity have been increasing. Among approaches, mutation is a direct alteration on the genome and considered as one of the most beneficial routes to acquire new beneficial traits in rice. An experiment was carried out to explore the effects of N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) mutation on the antioxidant activities, phytochemical compounds, and momilactones A (MA) and B (MB) in rice. Two rice cultivars, K1 (an original cultivar DT84) and K2 (mutated DT84), were examined. Antioxidant activities, phenolic compounds, and momilactones of the rice grain, husk, and straw portions were measured and quantified. Antioxidant activities were higher in grain and straw of K2, whereas K1 showed greater antioxidant activity in rice husk. Additionally, K2 displayed higher total phenolic contents (TPC) in grain and straw as well as lower of it in the husk, but these variations significantly differed only in the straw portion. An increase in total flavonoid contents (TFC) was observed in the husk of K1, while K2 significantly enhanced TFC in straw. Both MA and MB, two compounds obtaining antidiabetes, anticancer, antimicrobial, antigout, and antiobesity properties, were detected and quantified in grain, husk, and straw of K1 and K2 samples. Generally, the contents of MA were higher than MB in all tested portions of rice crop. MA and MB were higher in straw followed by those in husk and grain, respectively. K2 contained higher amounts of MA and MB in straw and husk, but lower contents in grain compared with those in K1. This study illustrates that MNU mutation can improve grain quality and enhance bioactive compounds in straw, husk, and grain of rice. This approach has the potential to develop functional foods from rice, and therefore help farmers in developing countries to improve value in rice production.
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