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Open AccessArticle

Changes in Protein Composition in the Grain and Malt after Fusarium Infection Dependently of Wheat Resistance

1
Department of Small Cereal Crops, Agricultural Institute Osijek, Osijek, Juzno predgradje 17, 31000 Osijek, Croatia
2
Agrochemical Laboratory, Agricultural Institute Osijek, Osijek, Juzno predgradje 17, 31000 Osijek, Croatia
3
Department of Maize, Agricultural Institute Osijek, Agricultural Institute Osijek, Osijek, Juzno Predgradje 17, 31000 Osijek, Croatia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2019, 8(3), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens8030112
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 23 July 2019 / Accepted: 24 July 2019 / Published: 26 July 2019
The grain yield, as well as the quality and safety of the wheat grains and corresponding malt can be compromised by Fusarium spp. infection. The protein content of the grain affects the chemical composition and enzyme levels of the finished malt. The malting industry demands varieties with good malting and brewing performance, as well as good agronomic performance and disease resistance. The best method of disease control is breeding and selection for resistant varieties. Due to higher requirements for malting wheat worldwide, the goal of this investigation was to explore changes in protein distribution in wheat grains and corresponding malt, which are under higher pressure of Fusarium head blight (FHB) infestation in field conditions. The present study provides new knowledge on the impact of the FHB on the distribution of protein components of naturally Fusarium-infected (control) and Fusarium-inoculated wheat varieties in the grain and the corresponding malt in two consecutive years (2015/2016 and 2016/2017). The results showed that Fusarium infection of the susceptible variety Golubica, decreased total glutenins (5.9%), and both high and low molecular weight glutenin subunits (2.5% and 3.5%, respectively) in wheat grains, compared to control, in 2016. In contrast, gliadins and α-gliadins increased significantly (+7.6% and +5.1%, respectively) in the same variety. Wheat grains of the more resistant variety Vulkan showed an increase of the total glutenins content (+4.3%), and of high and of low molecular weight glutenin subunits (+1.2% and +3.2%, respectively) after Fusarium-inoculation, compared to naturally infected grains in 2016. Susceptible variety Golubica increased total glutenins (+9.1%), and both high and low molecular weight glutenin subunits (+3.5% and +5.6%, respectively) after Fusarium-inoculation in wheat malt, compared to naturally infected malt in 2016. In 2017, when disease pressure was higher than in 2016, there was a tendency in all varieties to increase gliadins and its sub fractions after malting, and to decrease glutenins and its sub fractions in Fusarium-inoculated treatment. In conclusion, FHB dramatically depressed grain yield (up to 37%) and quality (glutenins and high molecular weight subunits) in the susceptible Fusarium variety, which makes it inconvenient for malting. View Full-Text
Keywords: albumins; globulins; gliadins; glutenins; malt; wheat albumins; globulins; gliadins; glutenins; malt; wheat
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Spanic, V.; Horvat, D.; Drezner, G.; Zdunic, Z. Changes in Protein Composition in the Grain and Malt after Fusarium Infection Dependently of Wheat Resistance. Pathogens 2019, 8, 112.

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