Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Grain Quality of Wheat Genotypes Under Heat Stress

Version 1 : Received: 26 September 2021 / Approved: 27 September 2021 / Online: 27 September 2021 (11:59:11 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Journal reference: Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences 2022
DOI: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2022.103417


Heat stress during the grain-filling period is the main abiotic stress factor limiting grain yield and quality in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). In this study, 64 wheat genotypes were exposed to heat stress during reproduction caused by delayed sowing in two growing seasons. Grain yield, 1000 grain weight (GW), grain hardness (GH), and grain-quality related traits were investigated using wholemeal flour. Heat stress caused a significant decrease in GW through reducing starch content (SC) and a non-compensating rise in protein content (PC), and thereby resulted in lower yield. In addition, significant increases in flour water absorption (WA), Zeleny sedimentation volume (ZT), ash content (AC), lipid content (LC), loaf volume (LV), wet gluten content (WG), dry gluten content (DG), gluten index (GI), and amylopectin content (APC) were found following heat stress. In contrast, decreases in grain moisture content (MC) and amylose content (AMC) induced by heat stress were observed. The heat-tolerant genotypes were superior in grain yield, GW, SC, AMC, and MC. While the sensitive genotypes contained higher PC, LV, GI and AMP. A group of wheat genotypes characterized with a higher yield, AMC, GW, and SC as well as lower PC, WA, GH, ZT, and LV; and was found to be the most heat tolerant by principal component analysis. Decreases in the ratio of carbohydrates to proteins induced by heat stress, and lower protein content of normal grown wheat genotypes were observed. Therefore, lighter weight and smaller grains produce a smaller starchy endosperm with lower quality (less amylose) and higher grain protein content in heat stress compared to normal conditions. Heat stress caused by delayed sowing improves some of the baking-quality related traits. Whether this improvement in grain quality attributes will translate into better human health outcomes requires further investigation.


wheat; global warming; flour quality; thermal stress

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