6 December 1996

Grain map will stop sprouting

PRE-HARVEST sprouting which causes a dramatic fall in cereal grain quality could soon be greatly reduced thanks to new research enabling breeders to better target resistant breeding stock.

Grain colour has a strong influence on sprouting resistance. Now a LINK project funded by MAFF and the Home-Grown Cereals Authority, led by the Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association, has found the exact location of the responsible genes in two chromosomes.

The resulting genetic map will help breeders select more resistant parents, says the HGCA.

The project is also investigating the effect of grain size on late maturity alpha-amylase production, which causes Hagbergs to fall even in the absence of sprouting.