Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 64, Issue 8, pp 1955–1961 | Cite as

Content of iron, zinc and manganese in grains of Triticum aestivum, Secale cereale, Hordeum vulgare and Avena sativa cultivars registered in Russia

  • Nikolai BityutskiiEmail author
  • Kirill Yakkonen
  • Igor Loskutov
Research Article


Micronutrient deficiency associated with low dietary intake is the most prevalent public health problem worldwide. This is especially true for cereal-based diets which are poor in the amount and bioavailability of micronutrients. To screen for high micronutrient content the genotypic variation in iron (Fe), zinc (Zn) and manganese (Mn) contents the whole grain of cereals (Triticum aestivum L., Secale cereale L., Hordeum vulgare L. and Avena sativa L.) was investigated. All 65 considered accessions were highly productive modern cultivars/breeding lines registered in the State Register of Breeding Achievements of the Russian Federation and are presently accepted for cultivation in the country. A variation in microelement concentrations of cereal grains was indicated (mg kg−1): wheat Fe 15–22, Zn 14–21 and Mn 2.4–4.1; rye Fe 14–30, Zn 16–24 and Mn 2.6–7.0; barley Fe 24–79, Zn 6–33 and Mn 7–21; oat Fe 19–37, Zn 10–70 and Mn 3.5–9.9. Generally, the highest genetic potential for promoting direct consumption and breeding to increase microelement content was observed within barley and oat. Among barley genotypes, contents of Fe, Zn and Mn varied 3–5.5-fold. Oat showed 7.0-fold variation in Zn and almost threefold variation in Mn. Genotypic variation for seed micronutrients among wheat and rye cultivars was relatively narrow (1.5–2-fold). The distribution of micronutrient content among the cultivars differed for each element. Nevertheless, cereal cultivars with relatively high density of all micronutrients (Fe, Zn and Mn) were found. The identified cultivars of cereals with high micronutrient content are important for breeding programs and for providing enhanced micronutrient diets for human consumption in Russia.


Avena sativa Genetic diversity Hordeum vulgare Iron Manganese Secale cereale Triticum aestivum Zinc 



This work was supported by the Russian Scientific Foundation Project No. 14-16-00072. We thank Dr. A. Diederichsen (PGRC, Canada) for critical reading of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The research article has not been published elsewhere. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikolai Bityutskii
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kirill Yakkonen
    • 1
  • Igor Loskutov
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural ChemistrySaint Petersburg State UniversitySaint PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.Department of Genetic Resources of Oat, Barley, RyeFederal Research Center N.I. Vavilov All-Russian Institute of Plant Genetic Resources (VIR)Saint PetersburgRussia

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