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Cereal Chem. 70:231-233   |  VIEW ARTICLE

Mixed Linkage beta-Glucan, Protein Content, and Kernel Weight in Avena Species.

S. S. Miller, P. J. Wood, L. N. Pietrzak, and R. G. Fulcher. Copyright 1993 by the American Association of Cereal Chemists, Inc. 

Eighteen species of Avena, including nine diploids, four tetraploids, and five hexaploids, were grown in one location and assayed for mixed-linkage (1-3),(1-4)-beta-D-glucan (beta-glucan) content. Five domestic cultivars of A. sativa, representing the range of beta-glucan currently available in Canadian oats, were grown at the same time for comparison. The range of beta-glucan content in the samples assayed was 1.8- 5.5%, with significant differences observed between species and also between groups based on ploidy. Molar ratios of 3-o-beta-cellobiosyl-D-glucose to 3-o-beta-cellotriosyl-D-glucose released by lichenase digestion of the beta-glucan were also determined. This ratio provides an indicator of the major structural features of the beta-glucan. Although some differences were apparent between species, there was little overall variation, indicating that beta-glucan structure is generally a conserved feature in these samples. Protein content and 1,000-kernel weight were also determined for all samples. A negative relationship was observed between protein content and 1,000-kernel weight: the non-sativa species, in general, had small seeds and high protein content; the domestic cultivars had large seeds and relatively low protein content. A weak negative relationship was also observed between beta-glucan and protein content. No relationship was apparent between beta-glucan content and 1,000-kernel weight.

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