Genetic variability for grain components related to nutritional quality in spelt and common wheat
Spelt (Triticum aestivum ssp. spelta) is part of the so-called ancient wheats. These types of wheats are experiencing a revival as they have been proposed to be healthier than conventional wheat. However, the given healthier condition of spelt is not substantiated by solid scientific evidence. The objective of this study was to analyze the genetic variability for several grain components, related to nutritional quality (arabinoxylans, micronutrients, phytic acid) in a set of spelt and common wheat genotypes to determinate if spelt is potentially healthier than common wheat. The results obtained indicated that within the compared species, there is a significant variation in the nutritional compounds, and it is not truthful and accurate to state that one species is healthier than the other. Within both groups, genotypes showing outstanding values for some traits were detected, which could be used in breeding programs to develop new wheat cultivars with good agronomic performance and nutritional quality.