Water stress during grain development affects starch synthesis, composition and physicochemical properties in triticale

Citation

He, J.F., Goyal, R., Laroche, A., Zhao, M.L., Lu, Z.X. (2012). Water stress during grain development affects starch synthesis, composition and physicochemical properties in triticale, 56(3), 552-560. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcs.2012.07.011

Abstract

Triticale, a man-made cereal crop developed from a cross between wheat and rye, has excellent agronomic traits to produce starch for bioindustrial applications. The effects of different levels of water stress on expression of starch synthesis genes and starch composition and physicochemical properties were investigated in this study. Three triticale varieties from 5 days post-anthesis were treated with three levels of water stress: low water stress (LWS) at 55-60% of soil moisture, moderate water stress (MWS) at 30-35% soil moisture and severe water stress (SWS) at 10-15% soil moisture. Water stress led to a significant reduction in seed weight at SWS (35-45%). A decrease in starch content was noticeable from MWS onwards and the values were decreased by 42-55% at SWS across all varieties. Such decrease was associated with the reduced expression of starch synthesis genes at 19 days of water stress (DWS). MWS favoured an increase of amylose proportion in triticale starch and it was accompanied by a significant up-regulation of GBSSI expression throughout the grain development. Triticale starch synthesized under water stress showed a reduced population of small granules and an increase of A-type to B-type ratio. SWS caused pitting on starch granules but did not alter the biconcave disc shape of mature granules. An inverse relationship between water stress and a range of starch gelatinization temperature was observed and the MWS environment specifically decreased the peak temperature (Tp) and increased the enthalpy. Our results signify that starch morphology, composition and physicochemical properties in triticale grains could be altered if triticale is grown under drought conditions. © 2012.