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Cereal science graduate student's wheat research widely viewed

An NDSU cereal science doctoral candidate has written one of the American Association of Cereal Chemists International’s most-viewed research papers. Mihiri Mendis’ paper, titled “Variability in Arabinoxylan, Xylanase Activity, and Xylanase Inhibitor Levels in Hard Spring Wheat,” was generated from her master’s degree thesis work in an NDSU wheat quality program.

Senay Simsek, Bert L. D'Appolonia Cereal Science and Technology of Wheat Endowed associate professor and Mendis' faculty adviser, was the corresponding writer on the paper.

In her research with Simsek, Mendis investigated the presence of arabinoxylans (cell wall polysaccharides in wheat), xylanases and xylanase inhibitors in various hard red and hard white spring wheat genotypes from multiple locations. The compounds have an important role in many cereal food processing applications of wheat.

Mendis’ research showed that genotype contributed 72 percent to the variability in one of the xylanase inhibitor’s activity, indicating that activity of this inhibitor in wheat bran is largely under genetic control. The results enable the industry to choose between different wheat varieties with varying xylanase activities to complement its intended use.

Contributing writers on the paper include researchers Jae-Bom Ohm, USDA-ARS Hard Red Spring and Durum Wheat Quality Laboratory; Jan A. Delcour and Kurt Gebruers, Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Research Center in Belgium; and Steven Meinhardt, NDSU associate professor of plant pathology. 

The original article was published in the May/June 2013 issue of Cereal Chemistry and is available at

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Last Updated: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 10:43:13 AM
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