Environment and genotype effects on antioxidant properties of organically grown wheat varieties: a 3-year study

J Sci Food Agric. 2017 Jan;97(2):641-649. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.7782. Epub 2016 Jun 7.


Background: Wheat grain (Triticum aestivum L.) possesses significant amounts of antioxidants that contribute to the dietary antiradical protection against a number of chronic diseases. Despite the increasing interest in organic food among both consumers and scientists, the availability of literature studies concerning the environment effect under organic management is still scarce. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antioxidant properties of wheat varieties by considering the genotype response to different environmental factors under biodynamic management.

Results: The soluble fraction of phenolic compounds was mainly determined by the environment, whereas a major genotypic effect was observed for the bound forms, which were present at higher amounts in red grain varieties. Moreover, a predominant effect of genotype was observed for yellow pigment content and antioxidant activity determined by the FRAP method. Despite some changes induced by environment, most genotypes had stable antioxidant properties and different phenolic profiles as determined by high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, except for the old variety Inallettabile, which was the most sensitive to environmental fluctuations.

Conclusion: The red grain varieties Andriolo, Gentil rosso and Verna were identified as the most promising breeding material for the development of varieties with high nutraceutical value under low-input management. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

Keywords: HPLC-MS; antioxidant activity; carotenoids; organic farming; polyphenols; wheat.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Carotenoids / analysis
  • Carotenoids / biosynthesis
  • Carotenoids / chemistry
  • Crops, Agricultural / chemistry*
  • Crops, Agricultural / genetics
  • Crops, Agricultural / growth & development
  • Crops, Agricultural / metabolism
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Flavonoids / biosynthesis
  • Flavonoids / chemistry
  • Food, Organic / analysis*
  • Genotype*
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Molecular Structure
  • Nutritive Value
  • Organic Agriculture*
  • Phenols / analysis
  • Phenols / chemistry
  • Phenols / metabolism
  • Pigments, Biological / analysis
  • Pigments, Biological / biosynthesis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Seeds / genetics
  • Seeds / growth & development
  • Seeds / metabolism
  • Solubility
  • Spatio-Temporal Analysis
  • Species Specificity
  • Triticum / chemistry*
  • Triticum / genetics
  • Triticum / growth & development
  • Triticum / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Pigments, Biological
  • Carotenoids