Fifty bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars were selected from the HEALTHGRAIN germplasm collection based on variation in their contents of total and water-extractable arabinoxylan. FT-IR spectroscopic mapping of thin transverse sections of grain showed variation in cell wall arabinoxylan composition between the cultivars, from consisting almost entirely of low-substituted arabinoxylan (e.g., T.aestivum Claire) to almost entirely of highly substituted arabinoxylan (e.g., T.aestivum Manital) and a mixture of the two forms (e.g., T.aestivum Hereward). Complementary data were obtained using endoxylanase digestion of flour followed by HP-AEC analysis of the arabinoxylan oligosaccharides. This allowed the selection of six cultivars for more detailed analysis using FT-IR and 1H NMR spectroscopy to determine the proportions of mono-, di-, and unsubstituted xylose residues. The results of the two analyses were consistent, showing that variation in the composition and structure of the endosperm cell wall arabinoxylan is present between bread wheat cultivars. The heterogeneity and spatial distribution of the arabinoxylan in endosperm cell walls may be exploited in wheat processing as it may allow the production of mill streams enriched in various arabinoxylan fractions which have beneficial effects on health.
- H NMR
- endosperm cell walls