Improvement of malting quality of barley by complementing the malt enzyme spectrum

Anna-Maria Nuutila, Anneli Ritala, Marjatta Salmenkallio-Marttila, Kristian Aspegren, Reino Aikasalo, Ulrika Kurten, Jussi Tammisola, Teemu Teeri, Leena Mannonen, Veli Kauppinen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    The processing quality of cereals can be modified by altering the structural grain constituents or the enzyme activities that mobilize storage reserves of the seeds. In order to complement the malt enzyme spectrum, a gene encoding for a thermotolerant fungal endo-(1,4)-ß-glucanase was introduced into two barley cultivars, Kymppi and Golden Promise. The gene was expressed in the seeds during germination, thus providing a thermotolerant enzyme that is active under mashing conditions. The amount of thermotolerant ß-glucanase produced by the seeds (ca. 0.025% soluble seed protein) has been shown to be sufficient to reduce wort viscosity by decreasing the soluble ß-glucan content. For the safe commercial cultivation of transgenic plants risk assessment of their cultivation is needed. In our study experimental estimates of the transgene flow from transgenic barley by pollen dispersal were produced. Field trials were conducted during the summers of 1996 and 1997. A transgenic barley line homozygous for the gene encoding for neomycin phosphotransferase was used as a source of pollen and male-sterile barley lines as recipients. In order to be able to transform the cross-fertilization frequencies to corresponding values of normal male-fertile barley, plots of normal barley were also included in the experimental plan. On the basis of our study, cross-fertilization in male-sterile recipient barley is possible with very low frequency up to 50 meters from the donor area. However, the frequency dramatically decreases with distance and due to self-pollination the possibility of cross-fertilization remains very low in normal cultivated barley.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)135-140
    JournalPhytochemistry Reviews
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2002
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • field trial
    • heterologous beta-glucanase
    • Hordeum vulgare
    • malting quality
    • risk assessment
    • transgenic barley


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