Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 127, Issue 1, pp 125–135 | Cite as

Mutations in chicory FEH genes are statistically associated with enhanced resistance to post-harvest inulin depolymerization

  • Nicolas DauchotEmail author
  • Pierre Raulier
  • Olivier Maudoux
  • Christine Notté
  • Pierre Bertin
  • Xavier Draye
  • Pierre Van Cutsem
Original Paper


Key message

Nucleotidic polymorphisms were identified in fructan exohydrolases genes which are statistically associated with enhanced susceptibility to post-harvest inulin depolymerization.


Industrial chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) root is the main commercial source of inulin, a linear fructose polymer used as dietary fiber. Post-harvest, inulin is depolymerized into fructose which drastically increases processing cost. To identify genetic variations associated with enhanced susceptibility to post-harvest inulin depolymerization and related free sugars content increase, we used a candidate-gene approach focused on inulin and sucrose synthesis and degradation genes, all members of the family 32 of glycoside hydrolases (GH32). Polymorphism in these genes was first investigated by carrying out EcoTILLING on two groups of chicory breeding lines exhibiting contrasted response to post-harvest inulin depolymerization. This allowed the identification of polymorphisms significantly associated with depolymerization in three fructan exohydrolase genes (FEH). This association was confirmed on a wider panel of 116 unrelated families in which the FEH polymorphism explained 35 % of the post-harvest variance for inulin content, 36 % of variance for sucrose content, 18 % for inulin degree of polymerization, 23 % for free fructose content and 22 % for free glucose content. These polymorphisms were associated with significant post-harvest changes of inulin content, inulin chain length and free sugars content.


Inulin Fructan Free Sugar Free Glucose Cell Wall Invertase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors acknowledge the Walloon Region (DGARNE-Belgium) for supporting this research (Grant D31-1221).

Conflict of interest

O. M. and C. N. are members of Cosucra-Group Warcoing S.A.

Ethical standards

The authors acknowledge that the experiments described in this paper comply with the current laws of the country in which they were performed.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 96 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (PDF 95 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (PDF 93 kb)
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Supplementary material 4 (PDF 191 kb)
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Supplementary material 5 (PDF 117 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolas Dauchot
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pierre Raulier
    • 2
  • Olivier Maudoux
    • 3
  • Christine Notté
    • 3
  • Pierre Bertin
    • 2
  • Xavier Draye
    • 2
  • Pierre Van Cutsem
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Unit in Plant BiologyUniversity of NamurNamurBelgium
  2. 2.Earth and Life InstituteUniversité catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  3. 3.Chicoline-CosucraWarcoingBelgium

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