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Characterization of the high α -amylase levels in grain of the wheat cultivar BD 159

DJ Mares, K Mrva and JF Panozzo

Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 45(5) 1003 - 1011
Published: 1994


TThe advanced wheat breeding line BD 159, from Victoria, exhibited a wide variation in falling number values at trial sites in 1990 when corresponding values for standard cultivars were uniformly high. The variable and unpredictable behaviour of BD 159 appears to be typical of a number of advanced lines and parental stocks from Australian breeding programs. The grain samples of BD 159 with low falling numbers had elevated levels of a-amylase which was distributed evenly in the proximal and distal halves of the grains. This distribution pattern, which was quite distinct from the steep gradient in a-amylase activity typical of germinated grains, and the absence of any evidence of sprouting indicated that the anomalous behaviour of BD 159 is a new and different form of the late maturity a-amylase syndrome previously described in wheat varieties such as Spica and Lerma 52. The high levels of a-amylase were reproduced at Narrabri in northern New South Wales when plants were transplanted from the field and allowed to ripen in a cool temperature glasshouse. Plants which were left to ripen in the field produced grain with a very low a-amylase activity.

Keywords: wheat; late maturity; α -amylase; grain development

© CSIRO 1994

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