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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

2007 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Genetically improve wheat and other cereals for endosperm texture, Asian noodle color, carbohydrate composition, and develop new methods to evaluate end-product quality. Define genetic basis of desirable quality of Asian foods. Facilitate research on improving western wheats for domestic and Asian food product quality.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Determine the molecular and genetic basis of wheat grain texture by assessing puroindoline gene structure. Determine the effect of two different hardness alleles on grain texture, milling performance and baking quality. Assess the molecular genetic basis of discoloration in Asian noodles by identifying and characterizing polyphenoloxidase from wheat. Develop or adapt methods to evaluate wheat end-use quality with an emphasis on early generation testing. Employ gene expression measurement technology to identify genes contributing to desirable Asian food characteristics. BL-1, 12/03. Replaces 5348-43440-003-00D (9/04).


3.Progress Report
Authored and published the following publications not report elsewhere or on the publication list:

Morris, C.F., and Engle, D.A. 2006. 2006 preferred wheat varieties for Washington based on end-use quality. Wheat Life 49:38.

Morris, C.F., and King, G.E. 2007. Registration of 'Waxy-Pen' soft white spring waxy wheat. J. Plant Registrations 1:23-24.


4.Accomplishments
Collaborated on characterizing the biochemistry and genetics of wheat kernel polyphenol oxidases (enzymes that make dark colored pigments in food). Polyphenol oxidase has been implicated as a major cause of darkening in Asian noodles and other wheat products. However, the number of PPO genes and their expression and substrate specificity are not fully known. PPO proteins of two sizes (60 and 62 kD) were identified. Some forms of PPO were inhibited by a very specific inhibitor (called “tropolone”) while others were not. Total PPO activity in mature kernels is thus a function of specific PPO isoforms present, their abundance, and activation levels. These results will assist researchers and cereal chemists in the improvement of wheat quality. This work was conducted, in part, at the Pullman, WA Western Wheat Quality Lab and addresses NP 306 Component 1., Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement, Problem Area 1A: Definition and Basis for Quality, Problem Area 1B: Methods to Evaluate and Predict Quality, and Problem Area 1C: Factors and Processes That Affect Quality; and NP 301 Component 1. Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Management, Problem Statement 1B: Assess the Systematic Relationships and Genetic Diversity of Crop Genetic Resources, Component 2. Crop Informatics, Genomics, and Genetic Analyses, Problem Statement 2B: Structural Comparison and Analysis of Crop Genomes, Component 3. Genetic Improvement of Crops, Problem Statement 3B: Capitalizing on Untapped Genetic Diversity, and Problem Statement 3C: Germplasm Enhancement/Release of Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.

Characterized puroindoline a and b alleles in Chinese wheat land races. Puroindolines are proteins that control kernel hardness in wheat, a primary end-use quality trait. Puroindoline a and b genes were sequenced in a number of diploid relatives of wheat, and Chinese land race germplasm; a new allele in puroindoline b was discovered. These results extended the discovery of the genetic basis of cereal grain texture and further demonstrate that naturally-occurring puroindoline gene sequence variation causes wheat grain to be hard or soft. Understanding the relationship between these gene sequences and grain texture will facilitate the enhancement of wheat and other cereal quality.These results will assist researchers and cereal chemists in the improvement of wheat quality. This work was conducted at the Pullman, WA Western Wheat Quality Lab and addresses NP 306 Component 1., Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement, Problem Area 1A: Definition and Basis for Quality, Problem Area 1B: Methods to Evaluate and Predict Quality, and Problem Area 1C: Factors and Processes That Affect Quality; and NP 301 Component 1. Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Management, Problem Statement 1B: Assess the Systematic Relationships and Genetic Diversity of Crop Genetic Resources, Component 2. Crop Informatics, Genomics, and Genetic Analyses, Problem Statement 2B: Structural Comparison and Analysis of Crop Genomes, Component 3. Genetic Improvement of Crops, Problem Statement 3B: Capitalizing on Untapped Genetic Diversity, and Problem Statement 3C: Germplasm Enhancement/Release of Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.

Determined the influence of cultivar and environment on arabinoxylans in soft wheat. Arabinoxylans are hydrophilic non-starch polysaccharides found in wheat grain as minor constituents; they can associate with large amounts of water and can form gels, thus influencing wheat quality. The water-soluble and water-insoluble arabinoxylans in soft wheat were measured and their variation assigned to genetic and environmental sources of variation. These results indicate that arabinoxylan content varies significantly among different wheat varieties and therefore can be selected as an important end-use quality trait. These results will assist researchers and cereal chemists in the improvement of wheat quality. This work was conducted at the Pullman, WA Western Wheat Quality Lab and addresses NP 306 Component 1., Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement, Problem Area 1A: Definition and Basis for Quality, Problem Area 1B: Methods to Evaluate and Predict Quality, and Problem Area 1C: Factors and Processes That Affect Quality; and NP 301 Component 1. Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Management, Problem Statement 1B: Assess the Systematic Relationships and Genetic Diversity of Crop Genetic Resources, Component 2. Crop Informatics, Genomics, and Genetic Analyses, Problem Statement 2B: Structural Comparison and Analysis of Crop Genomes, Component 3. Genetic Improvement of Crops, Problem Statement 3B: Capitalizing on Untapped Genetic Diversity, and Problem Statement 3C: Germplasm Enhancement/Release of Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.

Determined the influence of flour chlorination and formulation on the quality of pancakes. Soft wheat flour is commonly chlorinated in North America for the production of cakes and pancakes; however the elimination of chlorination is desirable. A standard pancake laboratory method was developed and used to assess the effect of chlorination as well as pancake formula ingredients on pancake quality. Chlorination affected all pancake quality attributes and no change in formula ingredients could completely substitute for its affect. The results indicate that a more in-depth understanding of the effects of chlorination must be gained before its effects can be replaced with alternatives. These results will assist researchers and cereal chemists in the improvement of wheat quality. This work was conducted at the Pullman, WA Western Wheat Quality Lab and addresses NP 306 Component 1., Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement, Problem Area 1A: Definition and Basis for Quality, Problem Area 1B: Methods to Evaluate and Predict Quality, and Problem Area 1C: Factors and Processes That Affect Quality; and NP 301 Component 1. Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Management, Problem Statement 1B: Assess the Systematic Relationships and Genetic Diversity of Crop Genetic Resources, Component 2. Crop Informatics, Genomics, and Genetic Analyses, Problem Statement 2B: Structural Comparison and Analysis of Crop Genomes, Component 3. Genetic Improvement of Crops, Problem Statement 3B: Capitalizing on Untapped Genetic Diversity, and Problem Statement 3C: Germplasm Enhancement/Release of Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.

Release of New Wheat Varities. In collaboration with others, released four new wheat varieties – Masami soft white winter wheat, Otis spring wheat, Louise soft white spring wheat, and Bauermeister hard red winter wheat. The development of new wheat varieties provides farmers opportunities to grow high-yielding, high quality varieties with resistance to pests, diseases, and abiotic stresses; processors and end-users are provided with high-quality raw material for plentiful wholesome foods. These wheat varieties were developed in collaboration with Washington State University. These results will assist researchers and cereal chemists in the improvement of wheat quality. This work was conducted, in part, at the Pullman, WA Western Wheat Quality Lab and addresses NP 306 Component 1., Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement, Problem Area 1A: Definition and Basis for Quality, Problem Area 1B: Methods to Evaluate and Predict Quality, and Problem Area 1C: Factors and Processes That Affect Quality; and NP 301 Component 1. Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Management, Problem Statement 1B: Assess the Systematic Relationships and Genetic Diversity of Crop Genetic Resources, Component 2. Crop Informatics, Genomics, and Genetic Analyses, Problem Statement 2B: Structural Comparison and Analysis of Crop Genomes, Component 3. Genetic Improvement of Crops, Problem Statement 3B: Capitalizing on Untapped Genetic Diversity, and Problem Statement 3C: Germplasm Enhancement/Release of Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.

Measured “oxidative gelation” (the formation of gels through oxygen-cross linking of flour polymers) and its influence on soft wheat end-use quality. Viscosity is an important end-use attribute for some soft wheat flour formulations, like pancake batter. A method was developed to identify variation in viscosity due to oxidative gelation. Results indicate that oxidative gelation is an important contributor to batter viscosity and also contributes to the quality attributes of dough systems. Better control of oxidative gelation of flours will allow end-users better process control and higher quality, more consistent consumer products.These results will assist researchers and cereal chemists in the improvement of wheat quality. This work was conducted at the Pullman, WA Western Wheat Quality Lab and addresses NP 306 Component 1., Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement, Problem Area 1A: Definition and Basis for Quality, Problem Area 1B: Methods to Evaluate and Predict Quality, and Problem Area 1C: Factors and Processes That Affect Quality; and NP 301 Component 1. Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Management, Problem Statement 1B: Assess the Systematic Relationships and Genetic Diversity of Crop Genetic Resources, Component 2. Crop Informatics, Genomics, and Genetic Analyses, Problem Statement 2B: Structural Comparison and Analysis of Crop Genomes, Component 3. Genetic Improvement of Crops, Problem Statement 3B: Capitalizing on Untapped Genetic Diversity, and Problem Statement 3C: Germplasm Enhancement/Release of Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.

Determined the allelic variation of polyphenol oxidase genes and developed functional markers for PPO genes and wheat. Polyphenol oxidase enzyme activity is highly related to the undesirable browning of wheat-based products, especially Asian noodles. In this study, complete genomic DNA sequences of two PPO genes and their allelic variants were characterized; additionally molecular markers were developed to identify high and low PPO activity genotypes. This research will assist in the improvement of wheat varieties with low PPO and therefore good end-product color attributes. These results will assist researchers and cereal chemists in the improvement of wheat quality. This work was conducted at the Pullman, WA Western Wheat Quality Lab and addresses NP 306 Component 1., Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement, Problem Area 1A: Definition and Basis for Quality, Problem Area 1B: Methods to Evaluate and Predict Quality, and Problem Area 1C: Factors and Processes That Affect Quality; and NP 301 Component 1. Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Management, Problem Statement 1B: Assess the Systematic Relationships and Genetic Diversity of Crop Genetic Resources, Component 2. Crop Informatics, Genomics, and Genetic Analyses, Problem Statement 2B: Structural Comparison and Analysis of Crop Genomes, Component 3. Genetic Improvement of Crops, Problem Statement 3B: Capitalizing on Untapped Genetic Diversity, and Problem Statement 3C: Germplasm Enhancement/Release of Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.

Collaborated on the pilot scale milling characteristics of transgenic iso-lines of hard wheat over-expressing puroindolines. Wheat grain texture is an important determinant of milling properties and end product use; puroindoline proteins play a primary role in determining wheat grain texture. This study examined the milling characteristics of transgenic iso-lines that express more puroindoline a, puroindolines b, or both than normal on a large scale pilot mill. Puroindoline expression influenced break flour yield, flour yield, starch damage, cookie diameter, and bread loaf volume. This study provided further insight as to how puroindolines influence wheat grain texture, milling and end-product quality. These results will assist researchers and cereal chemists in the improvement of wheat quality. This work was conducted, in part, at the Pullman, WA Western Wheat Quality Lab and addresses NP 306 Component 1., Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement, Problem Area 1A: Definition and Basis for Quality, Problem Area 1B: Methods to Evaluate and Predict Quality, and Problem Area 1C: Factors and Processes That Affect Quality; and NP 301 Component 1. Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Management, Problem Statement 1B: Assess the Systematic Relationships and Genetic Diversity of Crop Genetic Resources, Component 2. Crop Informatics, Genomics, and Genetic Analyses, Problem Statement 2B: Structural Comparison and Analysis of Crop Genomes, Component 3. Genetic Improvement of Crops, Problem Statement 3B: Capitalizing on Untapped Genetic Diversity, and Problem Statement 3C: Germplasm Enhancement/Release of Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.

Discovered molecular evidence for a multi-gene family for polyphenol oxidase in wheat and it's wild relatives. Wheat polyphenols oxidase enzyme is the major cause of browning reactions that discolor Asian noodles and other wheat products. PPO genomic sequences from diploid, tetraploid, and hexaploid wheat species were characterized to gain a better understanding of the structure and organization of PPO genes; results clearly indicate evidence for gene duplication with the number of genes obtained for bread and durum wheat higher than the expected number (one per genome). Researchers and others involved in wheat improvement will use these results in developing strategies for developing wheat varieties with low PPO activity and better end-product quality. These results will assist researchers and cereal chemists in the improvement of wheat quality. This work was conducted at the Pullman, WA Western Wheat Quality Lab and addresses NP 306 Component 1., Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement, Problem Area 1A: Definition and Basis for Quality, Problem Area 1B: Methods to Evaluate and Predict Quality, and Problem Area 1C: Factors and Processes That Affect Quality; and NP 301 Component 1. Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Management, Problem Statement 1B: Assess the Systematic Relationships and Genetic Diversity of Crop Genetic Resources, Component 2. Crop Informatics, Genomics, and Genetic Analyses, Problem Statement 2B: Structural Comparison and Analysis of Crop Genomes, Component 3. Genetic Improvement of Crops, Problem Statement 3B: Capitalizing on Untapped Genetic Diversity, and Problem Statement 3C: Germplasm Enhancement/Release of Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.

Registered Waxy-Pen soft white spring waxy wheat variety. “Waxy” refers to starch with 0% amylose; as such, waxy wheat provides food and feed processors, and industrial users a new and novel agricultural raw material. Waxy-Pen is the first waxy wheat variety to be developed, released, and registered in the United States. From this new variety new uses, processes and consumer products are anticipated. These results will assist researchers and cereal chemists in the improvement of wheat quality. This work was conducted at the Pullman, WA Western Wheat Quality Lab and addresses NP 306 Component 1., Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement, Problem Area 1A: Definition and Basis for Quality, Problem Area 1B: Methods to Evaluate and Predict Quality, and Problem Area 1C: Factors and Processes That Affect Quality; and NP 301 Component 1. Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Management, Problem Statement 1B: Assess the Systematic Relationships and Genetic Diversity of Crop Genetic Resources, Component 2. Crop Informatics, Genomics, and Genetic Analyses, Problem Statement 2B: Structural Comparison and Analysis of Crop Genomes, Component 3. Genetic Improvement of Crops, Problem Statement 3B: Capitalizing on Untapped Genetic Diversity, and Problem Statement 3C: Germplasm Enhancement/Release of Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.

Critically evaluated the SDS sedimentation test for wheat meals and protein quality. Gluten quality varies among wheat varieties and grain lots, and is an important consideration for processing and end-product quality; a simple means of assessing gluten quality is therefore needed. This study critically examined the SDS sedimentation test for wheat meals, and demonstrated that the SDS sedimentation test is highly robust and reproducible (SDS is a common detergent). Sample weight (if adjusted), a recording time of at least 10 minutes, an SDS stock concentration of at least 1% (final), grinder type and screen aperture were minor sources of variation in the test. These results will facilitate the next phase of research, with the ultimate aim of developing a quick, reliable and market-applicable industry test for gluten quality. These results will assist researchers and cereal chemists in the improvement of wheat quality. This work was conducted, at the Pullman, WA Western Wheat Quality Lab and addresses NP 306 Component 1., Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement, Problem Area 1A: Definition and Basis for Quality, Problem Area 1B: Methods to Evaluate and Predict Quality, and Problem Area 1C: Factors and Processes That Affect Quality; and NP 301 Component 1. Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Management, Problem Statement 1B: Assess the Systematic Relationships and Genetic Diversity of Crop Genetic Resources, Component 2. Crop Informatics, Genomics, and Genetic Analyses, Problem Statement 2B: Structural Comparison and Analysis of Crop Genomes, Component 3. Genetic Improvement of Crops, Problem Statement 3B: Capitalizing on Untapped Genetic Diversity, and Problem Statement 3C: Germplasm Enhancement/Release of Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.

Developed a device for the preparation of cereal endosperm “bricks” from single wheat kernels. Kernel hardness is a key quality trade of wheat, yet there is no means to objectively assess the hardness of individual wheat kernels. We designed, built, and tested a sanding device that prepared tiny brick-shaped specimens of endosperm from individual wheat kernels; a detailed description of the device and the preparation and testing of bricks was provided. This device and procedure is currently being used in the next phase of research which is studying the material properties of soft and hard wheat kernels. These results will assist researchers and cereal chemists in the improvement of wheat quality. This work was conducted at the Pullman, WA Western Wheat Quality Lab and addresses NP 306 Component 1., Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement, Problem Area 1A: Definition and Basis for Quality, Problem Area 1B: Methods to Evaluate and Predict Quality, and Problem Area 1C: Factors and Processes That Affect Quality; and NP 301 Component 1. Plant and Microbial Genetic Resource Management, Problem Statement 1B: Assess the Systematic Relationships and Genetic Diversity of Crop Genetic Resources, Component 2. Crop Informatics, Genomics, and Genetic Analyses, Problem Statement 2B: Structural Comparison and Analysis of Crop Genomes, Component 3. Genetic Improvement of Crops, Problem Statement 3B: Capitalizing on Untapped Genetic Diversity, and Problem Statement 3C: Germplasm Enhancement/Release of Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.


5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
none


6.Technology Transfer

Number of new CRADAs and MTAs6
Number of active CRADAs and MTAs12
Number of invention disclosures submitted1
Number of new commercial licenses granted1
Number of web sites managed1
Number of newspaper articles and other presentations for non-science audiences15

Review Publications
Chen, F., He, Z.H., Xia, X.C., Xia, L., Zhang, X.Y., Lillemo, M., Morris, C.F. 2005. Molecular and biochemical characterization of puroindoline a and b alleles in chinese landraces and historical cultivars. TAG 112:400-409.

Finnie, S.M., Bettge, A.D., Morris, C.F. 2006. Influence of cultivar and environment on water-soluble and water-insoluble arabinoxylans in soft wheat. Cereal Chemistry 83(6):617-623.

Finnie, S.M., Bettge, A.D., Morris, C.F. 2006. Influence of flour chlorination and ingredient formulation on the quality attributes of pancakes. Cereal Chemistry 83(6):684-691.

Massa, A.N., Morris, C.F. 2006. Molecular evolution of puroindoline-a, puroindoline-b and grain softness protein-1 genes in the tribe triticeae. J. Mol. Evol. 63:526-536.

Martin, J.M., Morris, C.F., Giroux, M.J. 2007. Pilot scale milling characteristics of transgenic isolines of a hard wheat over-expressing puroindolines. Crop Sci. 47(2):1-10.

Massa, A.N., Beecher, B.S., Morris, C.F. 2007. Polyphenol oxidase (PPO) in wheat and wild relatives: Molecular evidence for a multigene family. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 1239-1247.

Morris, C.F., Paszczynska, B.J., Bettge, A.D., King, G.E. 2007. A critical examination of the sodium dodecyl sulfate (sds) sedimentation test for wheat meals. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 87:607-615.

He, X.Y., He, Z.H., Zhang, L.P., Sun, D.J., Morris, C.F., Fuerst, E.P., Xia, X.C. 2007. Allelic variation of polyphenol oxidase (PPO) genes located on chromosomes 2A and 2D and development of functional markers for the PPO genes in common wheat. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 115:47-58.

Bettge, A.D., Morris, C.F. 2007. Oxidative gelation measurement and influence on soft wheat batter viscosity and end-use quality. Cereal Chemistry 84:237-242.

Morris, C.F., Pecka, K., Bettge, A.D. 2007. Note: A device for the preperation of cereal endosperm bricks. Cereal Chemistry 84:67-69.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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