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In vitro degradation of wheat gluten fractions by Fusarium graminearum proteases

Eggert, Kai, Rawel, Hashadrai M., Pawelzik, Elke
European food research & technology 2011 v.233 no.4 pp. 697-705
Fusarium graminearum, fractionation, glutenins, wheat protein, gliadin, proteinases, digestion, reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography, wheat gluten, electrophoresis, small cereal grains
Fusarium spp. infection of cereal grain is a common problem, which leads to a dramatic loss of grain quality. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of Fusarium infection on the wheat storage protein gluten and its fractions, the gliadins and glutenins, in an in vitro model system. Gluten proteins were digested by F. graminearum proteases for 2, 4, 8 and 24 h, separated by Osborne fractionation and characterised by chromatographic (RP-HPLC) and electrophoretic analysis (SDS-Page). Gluten digestion by F. graminearum proteases showed in comparison with gliadins a preference for the glutenins whereas the HMW subfraction was at most affected. In comparison with a untreated control, the HMW subfraction was degraded of about 97% after 4 h incubation with Fusarium proteases. Separate digestion of gliadin and glutenin underlined the preference for HMW-GS. Analogue to the observed change in the gluten composition, the yield of the proteins extracted changed. A higher amount of glutenin fragments was found in the gliadin extraction solution after digestion and could mask a gliadin destruction at the same time. This observation can contribute to explain the frequently reported reduced glutenin amount parallel to an increase in gliadin quantity after Fusarium infection in grains.