J Exp Bot. 2009;60(6):1537-53. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erp058.


Wheat is the dominant crop in temperate countries being used for human food and livestock feed. Its success depends partly on its adaptability and high yield potential but also on the gluten protein fraction which confers the viscoelastic properties that allow dough to be processed into bread, pasta, noodles, and other food products. Wheat also contributes essential amino acids, minerals, and vitamins, and beneficial phytochemicals and dietary fibre components to the human diet, and these are particularly enriched in whole-grain products. However, wheat products are also known or suggested to be responsible for a number of adverse reactions in humans, including intolerances (notably coeliac disease) and allergies (respiratory and food). Current and future concerns include sustaining wheat production and quality with reduced inputs of agrochemicals and developing lines with enhanced quality for specific end-uses, notably for biofuels and human nutrition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Celiac Disease / etiology
  • Gardening
  • Glutens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Nutritive Value
  • Triticum* / chemistry
  • Triticum* / immunology
  • Triticum* / metabolism
  • Wheat Hypersensitivity / etiology


  • Glutens