Endosperm texture in wheat

K. M. Turnbull, S. Rahman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

146 Citations (Scopus)


One of the fundamental means of classifying wheat is through its endosperm texture. It impacts significantly on the milling process affecting among other things flour particle size and milling yield. Hardness in wheat is largely controlled by genetic factors but it can be affected by the environment and factors such as moisture, lipid, and pentosan content. The principal genetic locus controlling endosperm texture in wheat, Ha, is located on the chromosome 5D. At this locus several genes, notably the puroindolines, have been identified. Puroindolines are the major components of the 15kDa protein band associated with starch granules that is more abundant in soft wheats than in hard. Recently the puroindolines have been shown to enhance grain hardness in rice. In this review we discuss the structure of hard and soft wheat endosperm with particular emphasis on when differences in endosperm texture can be detected in the developing seed. The role of the environment and other factors that may affect the endosperm texture is also examined together with the role of the puroindoline genes at the Ha locus. Finally, we compare endosperm hardness in wheat and in barley.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-337
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cereal Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Barley
  • Endosperm
  • Grain hardness
  • Ha locus
  • Puroindoline
  • Starch
  • Wheat

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