Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Zurich-Reckenholz

Identification of cereal varieties by means of electrophoresis

The identification of varieties on a seed-material basis is impossible. In addition the differentiation between the cereal Triticale and wheat is often difficult. Due to the high variability of the gliadins the electrophoretic separation of these storage proteins results in variety- and/or species-specific banding pattern. In this study we investigated the gliadin-banding pattern of the most important varieties of wheat, barley, oat, rye and spelt by means of Acid-Polyacrylamid Gel Electrophoresis (A-PAGE). We found 26 different banding patterns. Out of the 12 barley varieties nine patterns were identified. All four oat varieties could be distinguished by A-PAGE, but not all spelt varieties. The varieties of the out-crossing species rye showed an inhomogeneous banding pattern except for one hybrid. The banding pattern was clearly different among the various investigated cereal species. The diploid species showed a less complex banding pattern than the hexaploid species wheat, triticale and spelt. Another, less time intensive, electrophoretic method is the Isoelectric Focussing (IEF). IEF was shown to be an efficient method for the differentiation among cereal species. The glutenin-separation, however, was not suitable for the variety identification of wheat since only 11 different patterns were distinguishable.

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