The sweet popcorn aroma conferred by 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (2AP) is a highly economic trait of rice grain attracting premium price worldwide. This research study was conducted to determine the levels of 2AP in Ugandan rice lines with the aim of establishing a better understanding on the level and classes of 2AP and aroma phenotype. Concentration of 2AP was assayed using two-dimensional gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC × GC-TOF-MS) in tandem with sensory evaluation. Substantial variations in aroma intensity within and between the Uganda rice families were recorded. However, the levels of aroma variation were strongly influenced by the type of rice, and the breeding population it was derived from. Hence, three aroma based categories, namely, nonaromatic, moderately aromatic and highly aromatic were identified. GC with complementary sensory evaluation suggested a highly complex nature of rice aroma, as several rice lines were re-classified on the basis of this study. The 2AP contents and aroma intensity for genotypes with O. glaberrima were low compared to O. sativa and O. barthi. Genotypes of Supa 5, Supa 1052, Yasmin aromatic and MET 3 contained high 2AP levels whereas MET 16, MET 6, AGRA 78, AGRA 55, AGRA 41 and Sande TXD 306 exhibited moderate 2AP contents. Therefore, in developing an optimal breeding strategy aimed at improving the aroma in rice, quantitative information about 2AP and complementary sensory evaluation are a prerequisite.
Key words: Grain aroma, sensory evaluation.
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