Post-anthesis thermal stress induces differential accumulation of bioactive compounds in field-grown barley
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BACKGROUND: Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is a healthy grain because of its high content of dietary fibre and phenolic compounds. It faces periods of high temperature during grain filling, frequently reducing grain weight. Heat stress may also affect some of the bioactive compounds present in the grain. To produce quality grains that provide nutritional and health benefits, it is important to understand the effect of environmental stresses on the quantity and quality of bioactive compounds. RESULTS: We have studied the effect of post-anthesis thermal stress on barley bioactive compounds and antioxidant capacity under Mediterranean field conditions during two consecutive growing seasons in four barley genotypes. Thermal stress affected grain weight and size and changed the relative composition of bioactive compounds. The relationship between heat stress and grain ⊎-glucans and arabinoxylans content was indirect, as the resulting increases in concentrations were due to the lower grain weight under stress. Conversely, heat stress had a significant direct impact on somephenolic compounds, increasing their concentrations differentially across genotypes, which contributed to an improvement in antioxidant capacity of up to 30%. CONCLUSION: Post-anthesis thermal stress had a significant effect on ⊎-glucans, arabinoxylans, phenolic compound concentration and antioxidant capacity of barley grains. Final grain quality could, at least partially, be controlled in order to increase the bioactive concentrations in the barley grain, by cultivation in growing areas prone to heat stress. Late sowings or late flowering genotypes could also be considered, should a premium be implemented to compensate for lower yields.
Is part ofJournal of The Science of Food and Agriculture, 2021. In Press
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as cc-by (c) Mariona Martínez-Subirà et al., 2021
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