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Cereal Chem 58:424 - 428.  |  VIEW ARTICLE
Preharvest Sprouting and Alpha-Amylase Activity in Hard Red and Hard White Winter Wheat Cultivars.

A. J. McCrate, M. T. Nielsen, G. M. Paulsen, and E. G. Heyne. Copyright 1981 by the American Association of Cereal Chemists, Inc. 

Preharvest sprouting beyond minimal levels increases alpha-amylase activity and decreases functional quality of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grain. No information is available on the sprouting susceptibility of popular hard red winter wheat (HRWW) cultivars in the U.S. Great Plains or on experimental hard white winter wheat (HWWW) lines being developed for the area. Objectives of our study were to determine preharvest sprouting susceptibility of popular HRWW cultivars and experimental HWWW lines under simulated rain conditions and at geographical areas differing in sprout-inducing environments. HRWW cultivars differed markedly in sprouting and in alpha-amylase synthesis in sprouted grain, which increased as time between maturity and exposure to simulated rain was increased. Sprouting and alpha-amylase activity measured by falling number and dye-labeled starch degradation were highly correlated. However, cultivar and temporal deviations from that relationship occurred. HWWW lines were generally more susceptible than were HRWW cultivars, but exceptions occurred and differences were more quantitative than qualitative. An HWWW cultivar, Clark's Cream, was resistant to preharvest sprouting. The simulated sprouting environment clearly identified sprouting-resistant phenotypes; it would be useful for selecting desirable germplasm in wheat improvement programs.

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