CSIRO Food Futures Flagship Cluster: Healthy Complex Cereal Carbohydrates
The High Fibre Grains Collaboration Cluster combines the research capabilities of The University of Queensland, The University of Adelaide and The University of Melbourne with CSIRO’s Food Futures National Research Flagship and involves the CSIRO Divisions of Plant Industry and Human Nutrition. The Cluster aims to develop new grain varieties with fibre content tailored to optimize health benefits and offer value to industry.
The largest source of fibre from grains are the non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) in their cell walls. In barley and wheat, two of the main constituents of endosperm cell walls are (1,3;1,4)-b-glucan (beta-glucan) and arabinoxylan. The cluster will focus on understanding the synthesis and health benefits of these NSPs, and improving our ability to manipulate their levels and composition in grains:
- Identify and characterise the complement of genes responsible for synthesis of beta-glucans and arabinoxylans
- Develop genetic manipulation strategies to optimise the content and composition of the major cell wall polysaccharides, arabinoxylan and beta-glucan
- Understand the fine structure, physicochemical properties and processing performance of cereal beta-glucan and arabinoxylans
- Characterise the physiochemical properties of complex cereal carbohydrates in cereal processing streams, in foods and in laboratory and animal models for the human small intestine and large bowel
- Understand the interactions between modified cereals and their complex carbohydrate constituents and the gastrointestinal systems of model animals and humans, including the effect of these grains on gut microbial populations in feeding trials
- Generate elite transgenic events and parental non-transgenic germplasm capable of effective and rapid commercialisation through industry partnerships
- Develop and secure industry partnerships to take the technologies developed by the Cluster to the marketplace, delivering economic and social benefits to Australia.