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Fusarium head blight: effect of fungal proteases on wheat storage proteins

Nightingale, M.J., Marchylo, B.A., Clear, R.M., Dexter, J.E., Preston, K.R.
Cereal chemistry 1999 v.76 no.1 pp. 150-158
wheat, Gibberella zeae, Gibberella avenacea, proteinases, blight, gliadin, glutenins, protein degradation, baking quality, pasta, food processing, food quality, mixing, enzyme activity, cultivars, deoxynivalenol, protein content, seeds, fungal diseases of plants, dough, durum wheat
The effect of proteolytic enzymes, associated with Fusarium head blight, on wheat storage proteins and dough functionality was studied. Fusarium damaged kernels (FDK) and sound kernels were hand-picked from F. graminearum Schwabe and F. avenaceum (Fr.) Sacc. infected samples of bread and durum wheat. Scanning electron microscopy revealed significant degradation of endosperm protein in FDK. Storage proteins from FDK and sound kernels were analyzed by SDS-PAGE, RP-HPLC, and SE-HPLC. Total storage protein was lower in FDK but no significant qualitative differences in protein were detected by either RP-HPLC or SDS-PAGE. SE-HPLC was used to follow the hydrolysis of wheat storage protein by proteolytic enzymes found in FDK and a pure culture of F. graminearum. Selective inhibition of proteolytic activity by p-chloromercuribenzoate, and not soybean trypsin inhibitor or iodoacetic acid, suggests that the F. graminearum protease is an alkaline protease. Farinograph and extensigraph curves showed that the presence of FDK decreased dough consistency and resistance to extension. The presence of FDK in flour resulted in a substantial reduction in loaf volume. The loss of dough functionality and loaf volume potential was attributed to the presence of fungal proteases.