Motzo, Rosella and Fois, Simonetta and Giunta, Francesco (2007) Protein content and gluten quality of durum wheat (Triticum turgidum subsp. durum) as affected by sowing date. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Vol. 87 (8), p. 1480-1488. ISSN 0022-5142. Article.
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The end use quality of durum wheat is sensitive to the environmental conditions pertaining before and during grain filling, and can therefore be modified by manipulation of cultivar and sowing date. A field trial was carried out to study the effect on protein content and gluten quality of varying both sowing date (October, December and March) and cultivar (Simeto, Colosseo and Creso). A delay in sowing date was associated with a decrease in mean grain weight, but not in grain nitrogen content, thus leading to an overall increase from 10.7 to 14.7% in grain protein percentage. Independent of sowing date, over 78% of the grain nitrogen was derived from re-translocation from vegetative tissue. The similar amounts of nitrogen accumulated in each grain at maturity were set by the similarity in the amount of nitrogen available at anthesis. The observed increase in protein percentage partly explained the greater dough strength (alveographic W) observed in material harvested from the latest sowing. The gluten index, on the other hand, decreased as sowing was delayed. Given the parallel increase in glutenin percentage, we propose that temperatures above 30 ◦C at the end of the grain filling period have a negative effect on the gluten polymerisation process.
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