Wheat is a well-known source of B vitamins but also contains significant amounts of
vitamin E and related tocols, which have a number of positive health benefits. However,
there are no reports on increasing the tocol content of wheat. A prerequisite for
increasing the tocol content is the identification of variation in its amount within
wheat and related cereals. We therefore determined the tocol content and composition
in the grain of 230 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) of a diverse biparental wheat
population (Mv Toborzo/Tommi), showing variation in the total content from 13.69 to
45.18 mu g/g d.m. The total content also showed transgressive segregation in the population.
The effect of the genotype on the variance components of tocols was studied, and the
broad-sense heritability was calculated to be 0.71. The lines were also grouped based
on their tocol content and analyzed for their chemical composition and breadmaking
quality. The high heritability value and the wide variation found in the total amount
indicate that increasing the content of tocols is a possible breeding strategy.