Assessing the impact of nitrogen supplementation in oats across multiple growth locations and years with targeted phenotyping and high-resolution metabolite profiling approaches

J. William Allwood, Pilar Martinez-Martin, Yun Xu, Alexander Cowan, Simon Pont, Irene Griffiths, Julie Sungurtas, Sarah Clarke, Royston Goodacre, Athole Marshall, Derek Stewart, Catherine Howarth

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Abstract

Oats (Avena sativa L.) are a healthy food, being high in dietary fibre (e.g. β-glucans), antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Understanding the effect of variety and crop management on nutritional quality is important. The response of four oat varieties to increased nitrogen levels was investigated across multiple locations and years with respect to yield, grain quality and metabolites (assessed via GC- and LC- MS). A novel high-resolution UHPLC-PDA-MS/MS method was developed, providing improved metabolite enrichment, resolution, and identification. The combined phenotyping approach revealed that, amino acid levels were increased by nitrogen supplementation, as were total protein and nitrogen containing lipid levels, whereas health-beneficial avenanthramides were decreased. Although nitrogen addition significantly increased grain yield and β-glucan content, supporting increasing the total nitrogen levels recommended within agricultural guidelines, oat varietal choice as well as negative impacts upon health beneficial secondary metabolites and the environmental burdens associated with nitrogen fertilisation, require further consideration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number129585
JournalFood Chemistry
Volume355
Early online date16 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Mar 2021

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