Genotype and Environment Effects on Oat Beta-Glucan Concentration
Oat (Avena sativa L.) and oat bran have beneficial effects as human food and animal feed, including the lowering of serum low density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, a risk factor for cardiovascular (LDL) cholesterol, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. This effect has been attributed to the high concentration of (1→3)(1→4)-β-D-glucan in oat. To efficiently breed oat cultivars higher in this beneficial constituent, the influence of genotype and environment must first be determined. Twelve cultivars were grown in nine different locations in randomized complete blocks to measure the leval and variation in β-glucan concentration. Samples were dehulled, ground, and the β-glucan concentration measured by a flow-injection analysis system. Significant differences were found for the main effects of genotype and location and their interaction. The variance ratio for the interaction was much smaller than those for the main effects and, except for one location, the rank order of the cultivars was generally with 100-groat weight. It was concluded that selection for high β-glucan in a simple environment should be representative of relative performance in other environments.
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