Scimex: A groundbreaking study published in Science Advances shows the way to breeding wheat with cholesterol lowering properties. CSIRO scientist Steve Jobling has identified the mechanism controlling betaglucan synthesis in cereals. Barley and oat grains contain high levels of soluble betaglucan which can lower cholesterol reabsorption in the gut leading to healthier blood cholesterol levels and lowering the risk of heart disease. Conversely, wheat grain has low levels of betaglucan with a slightly different structure making it insoluble.
A recent breakthrough in our understanding of how betaglucan
structure is controlled may enable the development of healthier wheat
grains with higher levels of soluble betaglucan, a special type of
dietary fibre that can help lower blood cholesterol.
cholesterol reabsorption in the gut, betaglucan needs to be both soluble
and viscous and these properties are related to the betaglucan
structure. We wished to understand how betaglucans with different
structures are synthesised and use this knowledge to make wheat with
cholesterol lowering properties.