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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENHANCE WHEAT QUALITY AND UTILIZATION IN THE WESTERN U.S.

Location: Wheat Genetics, Quality Physiology and Disease Research

2006 Annual Report


1.What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? Why does it matter?
This research is conducted in support of ARS National Programs 306-Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products and 301-Plant Genetics Resources, Genomics and Genetic Improvement. Wheat grain quality relates to how successfully wheat and flour perform in consumer products and industrial processes. Enhancing wheat quality improves processing efficiencies, makes more desirable and more diverse consumer products and ensures the competitiveness of farmers, grain merchandisers, millers, and end processors. This project aims to enhance wheat quality and utilization through the identification and study of important quality traits, and their genetic an environmental variation. Implementation of this aim is via:.
1)gene discovery and the fundamental basis of wheat grain quality, .
2)defining the utilization and end-product requirements of wheat and flour,.
3)developing the methodology of wheat quality assessment,.
4)developing genetic stocks and germplasm, and.
5)assessing and interpreting end-use quality of experimental wheat breeding lines and cultivars. Wheat is the number one food crop in the world. Efficient and innovative use of wheat grain depends on both controlling and exploiting variation in its basic quality traits. Variation provides opportunities, but variation must also be understood, monitored and controlled. We seek to deploy desirable quality traits via cooperative breeding efforts and the release of superior varieties. Through these means, wheat quality and utilization are enhanced. The value of the farmer's crop and the efficiency and profitability of the processing and food and industries are enhanced. U.S. agriculture also gains competitiveness abroad in export markets.


2.List by year the currently approved milestones (indicators of research progress)
For each year during the 5-year project, we anticipate evaluating the quality of approximately 4,000 to 7,000 breeding samples of various sizes. Typically, samples are received beginning in late September through December, with the last analyses, evaluations, and statistical analyses completed by early August of the following calendar year. Based on prior experience, we anticipate that collaborating breeding programs may release 2-4 new cultivars per year. Key milestones during each crop year are the PNW Wheat Quality Council collaborative sample review in late January, the WSU Variety Release Committee review in early February, completion of the Western Regional Nurseries, and the commencement of spring planting in late February.

2005 Obtain germ plasm and begin analysis of “world” wheats, Aegilops tauschii accessions, and CIMMYT synthetic hexaploids. Begin greenhouse plant culture, and vernalization; begin SKCS hardness analysis; begin DNA isolation and puroindoline and Gsp-1 gene sequencing; continue with back-crossing of near-isogenic lines. Identify ESTs and physical location of arabinoxylan genes; obtain the appropriate deletion stocks, parents, and other genetic stocks; begin propagation in greenhouse.

2006 Continue obtaining puroindoline and GSP-1 gene sequences, make preliminary assessments of results; perform 2nd or 3rd round of greenhouse plant culture; propagate mixed-hardness cultivars, propagate and attempt to cross synthetic accessions with unique sequences and/or kernel phenotypes; continue with back-crossing of near-isogenic lines. As timing permits, plant spring and winter wheat lines for arabinoxylan studies in the field. Obtain arabinoxylan gene sequences.

2007 Continue obtaining puroindoline and Gsp-1 gene sequences, make preliminary analyses of data and draft manuscripts describing results; perform 4th to 6th round of greenhouse plant culture if needed; propagate mixed-hardness or problematic cultivars, continue to propagate and cross synthetic accessions with unique sequences and/or kernel phenotypes; continue with back-crossing of near-isogenic lines. Grow any F1 progeny resulting from synthetic hexaploid crosses. As timing permits, plant spring and winter wheat lines for arabinoxylan studies in the field. If identified as useful, plant mapping population(s) in the field. Complete arabinoxylan gene sequences.

2008 Analyze kernel texture data and puroindoline and Gsp-1 gene sequence data, prepare manuscripts. Continue with back-crossing of near-isogenic lines. Grow any F1 or subsequent progeny resulting from synthetic hexaploid crosses. Depending on timing, may still be growing spring or winter wheat lines for arabinoxylan studies in the field.

2009 Continue with back-crossing of near-isogenic lines. Conduct kernel texture, milling, flour quality and baking tests on "arabinoxylan" lines; analyze data with gene sequences, prepare manuscripts. Continue propagating any crosses derived from synthetic hexaploids, begin evaluating F3 kernels from individual F2 plants.


4a.List the single most significant research accomplishment during FY 2006.
NP 306 Component, Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement, Problem Area 1a. Defination and Basis for Quality, and NP 301 Genetic Improvement of Crops, Problem Area 3c. Germplasm Enhancement/Release Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.

Molecular - Genetic Basis of Wheat Grain Hardness With Chinese collaborators at the CAAS, the Western Wheat Quality Lab extended the discovery of the genetic basis of cereal grain texture which demonstrated that naturally-occurring puroindoline gene sequence variation causes wheat grain to be hard or soft. Grain hardness (texture) is the single most important trait governing wheat quality and utilization. Puroindoline and Grain Softness Protein genes were sequenced in a number of diploid relatives of wheat in the tribe Triticeae, and Chinese germplasm. A new allele in puroindoline b was discovered. Understanding the relationship between these gene sequences and grain texture will facilitate the enhancement of wheat and other cereal quality.


4b.List other significant research accomplishment(s), if any.
NP 306 Component, Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement, Problem Area 1a. Defination and Basis for Quality, and NP 301 Genetic Improvement of Crops, Problem Area 3c. Germplasm Enhancement/Release Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.

Development of Waxy Wheat Variety Waxy-Pen waxy wheat variety was developed. Food and feed processors and industrial users of wheat require new raw agricultural materials. Waxy wheat has zero starch amylose and therefore unique processing properties. Using innovative screening tools, a full waxy back-cross derivative of Penawawa soft white spring wheat was developed. This new variety is being tested by commercial food and feed manufacturers; new uses and products are anticipated.


4c.List significant activities that support special target populations.
None


4d.Progress report.
None


5.Describe the major accomplishments to date and their predicted or actual impact.
NP 306 Component, Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement, Problem Area 1a. Defination and Basis for Quality, and NP 301 Genetic Improvement of Crops, Problem Area 3c. Germplasm Enhancement/Release Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.

This project has two main components: the first involves the detailed evaluation and assessment of literally thousands of experimental wheat breeding lines each year from the Western U.S. The second involves the in-depth elucidation of the molecular-genetics of wheat quality and utilization, the development of new quality testing methodology, and the cooperative commercialization of new products and technology. Accomplishments include the release to growers of a number of superior wheat varieties; the development of new methods such as alkaline noodle color measurement, a whole-seed PPO enzyme assay, and a scaled-down Solvent Retention Capacity test; the demonstration that puroindolines control cereal grain hardness, and significant advancement of molecular-genetics of starch composition and quality, product discoloration and polyphenol oxidase. The first commercial waxy wheat variety in the U.S. was developed.


6.What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end-user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products?
An understanding of the role of puroindoline proteins in controlling grain texture in wheat and related cereal crops is being applied to modify the grain texture of maize. New wheat varieties were cooperatively released to farmers to improve overall grain quality, production and utilization. A small-scale solvent retention capacity profile method for use on ground-grain has been developed for use in evaluating end-use suitability of samples in early generation wheat breeding programs. Waxy-Pen, the first commercial waxy soft white wheat variety has zero per cent starch amylose. A unique type of wheat with novel end-use applications, Waxy-Pen is under increase in the field and research lots of grain were available for evaluation by interested parties this year. An improved whole-seed enzyme assay that was developed at the WWQL is being used to measure the level of polyphenol oxidase (PPO) in wheat in nearly all hard wheat breeding programs in the U.S., thereby predicting the level of enzyme darkening in wheat breeding lines destined for Asian noodles. Wheat breeders, cereal chemists, millers and bakers can quickly assess the level and variability of PPO in grain lots to reduce variability and enhance wheat quality and flour utilization.


Review Publications
Jones, B.L., Morris, C.F., Bekes, F., Wrigley, C.W. 2006. Chapter 14:Proteins that complement the roles of gliadin and glutenin. In: Gliadin and Glutenin: The Unique Balance of Wheat Quality, (eds.) CW Wrigley, F Bekes, and W Bushuk. AACC International, St. Paul, MN, pages 413-446.

Simeone, M., Gedye, K.R., Mason-Gamer, R., Gill, B.S., Morris, C.F. 2006. Conserved regulator elements identified from a comparative puroindoline gene sequence survey of triticum and aegilops diploid taxa. J. Cereal Sci. 44:21-33.

Graybosch, R.A., Peterson, C.J., Baenziger, P.S., Nelson, L.A., Beecher, B.B., Baltensperger, D.B., Krall, J.M. 2005. Registration of arrowsmith hard white winter wheat. Crop Science 45: 1662-1663.

Graybosch, R.A., Peterson, C.J., Baenziger, P.S., Nelson, L.A., Beecher, B.B., Baltensperger, D.B., Krall, J.M. 2005. Registration of 'antelope'hard white winter wheat. Crop Science 45:1661-1662.

Fuerst, E.P., Anderson, J.V., Morris, C.F. 2006. Delineating the role of polyphenol oxidase in the darkening of alkaline wheat noodles. J. Agric. Food Chem. 54:2378-2384.

Fuerst, E.P., Anderson, J.V., Morris, C.F. 2006. Polyphenol oxidase in wheat grain: whole kernel and bran assays for total and soluble activity. Cereal Chem. 83(1):10-16.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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