Improving wheat protein quality
A research studentship with Nottingham University has looked at how protein quality, which is a key determinant of endproduct quality, is established in wheat. The objective was to investigate a potential alternative route to improving protein quality - more specifically to understand if two alternative storage routes could influence protein quality.
Protein quality in wheat is understood to be a function of protein types and their interactions. These factors determine the strength and extensibilities of dough derived from wheat, which in turn influences product quality for a wide range of baked products.
There are two proposed routes to storage locations in wheat endosperm cells. In this study one of the routes was blocked. The relative quantities formed of the types of proteins in gluten were not influenced, although the protein quality was different in the experimental samples. The mechanism behind this is not yet clear.
Understanding the impact of altered metabolic pathways during grain development will ultimately allow plant breeders to develop new and improved wheat varieties. This research was supported by funding from the BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council).
Contact: Mervin Poole