Exploring abiotic stress on asynchronous protein metabolism in single kernels of wheat studied by NMR spectroscopy and chemometrics

H. Winning, N. Viereck, B. Wollenweber, F.H. Larsen, Susanne Jacobsen, Ib Søndergaard, S.B. Engelsen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Extreme climate events are being recognized as important factors in the effects on crop growth and yield. Increased climatic variability leads to more frequent extreme conditions which may result in crops being exposed to more than one extreme event within a growing season. The aim of this study was to examine the implications of different drought treatments on the protein fractions in grains of winter wheat using H-1 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy followed by chemometric analysis. Triticum aestivum L. cv. Vinjett was studied in a semi-field experiment and subjected to drought episodes either at terminal spikelet, during grain-filling or at both stages. Principal component trajectories of the total protein content and the protein fractions of flour as well as the H-1 NMR spectra of single wheat kernels, wheat flour, and wheat methanol extracts were analysed to elucidate the metabolic development during grain-filling. The results from both the H-1 NMR spectra of methanol extracts and the H-1 HR-MAS NMR of single kernels showed that a single drought event during the generative stage had as strong an influence on protein metabolism as two consecutive events of drought. By contrast, a drought event at the vegetative growth stage had little effect on the parameters investigated. For the first time, H-1 HR-MAS NMR spectra of grains taken during grain-filling were analysed by an advanced multiway model. In addition to the results from the chemical protein analysis and the H-1 HR-MAS NMR spectra of single kernels indicating that protein metabolism is influenced by multiple drought events, the H-1 NMR spectra of the methanol extracts of flour from mature grains revealed that the amount of fumaric acid is particularly sensitive to water deficits.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)291-300
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • wheat
    • PCA trajectory
    • Chemometrics
    • fumaric acid
    • grain-filling
    • single kernel
    • HR-MAS NMR
    • drought

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