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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

2008 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. Replaces 5348-43440-003-00D (9/04).


3.Progress Report
Progress on identifying mechanisms and constituents of end-product darkening (including polyphenol oxidase), the genotype and environmental effects of wheat grain ash content, identification of genes differentially expressed in developing wheat grain endosperm, characteristics of soft white wheat grain protein extracts, and the role that waxy starch plays in the apparent digestibility of rainbow trout feed contribute to NP306 Component 1, Problem Area 1a and 1c.


4.Accomplishments
1. Assessed the current status of the molecular genetic control of wheat grain texture. This rapidly expanding field of cereal chemistry and genetics has not been evaluated and summarized recently. Three reviews were written and published, by the ARS scientists at the Wheat Genetics, Quality Physiology, and Disease Research Unit in Pullman, WA, providing researchers a concise description of the current status of the molecular genetic control of wheat grain texture. This active area of research is important for better utilizing wheat grain and flour; a previous review (2002) has been cited 83 times indicating the importance of periodic summaries to researchers. NP306 Action Plan Component 1, Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement; Problem Area 1a, Definition for Basis of Quality and 1c, Factors and Processes that Affect Quality; and NP 301 Action Plan Component 3, Genetic Improvement of Crops; Problem Area 3c, Germplasm Enhancement/Release of Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.

2. Collaborated on evaluating the end-use quality of near-isogenic lines carry leaf rust resistance. Leaf rust is a leading pathogen of wheat and new sources and strategies for gaining resistance are needed. The milling and baking quality of wheat near-isogenic lines carrying a resistance gene from wild wheat was evaluated, by the ARS scientists at the Wheat Genetics, Quality Physiology, and Disease Research Unit in Pullman, WA in collaboration with scientist at U.C. Davis. The segment of alien DNA that carries the resistance gene is also associated with negative and positive effects on end-use quality. NP306 Action Plan Component 1, Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement; Problem Area 1a, Definition for Basis of Quality and 1c, Factors and Processes that Affect Quality; and NP 301 Action Plan Component 3, Genetic Improvement of Crops; Problem Area 3b, Capitalizing on Untapped Genetic Diversity, and Problem Area 3c, Germplasm Enhancement/Release of Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.

3. Compressive strength of wheat kernel endosperm. Variation in wheat kernel texture is not fully understood and is not easily measured by non-empirical techniques. Micro-bricks were prepared, by the ARS scientists at the Wheat Genetics, Quality Physiology, and Disease Research Unit in Pullman, WA, from individual wheat kernels of various varieties and subjected to compression failure testing. This research provides for the preparation and analysis of the compressive strength of wheat endosperm in universal “engineering” units and indicates that the Single Kernel Characterization System provides reasonably accurate assessment of kernel-to-kernel hardness variation. NP306 Action Plan Component 1, Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement; Problem Area 1b, Methods to Evaluate and Predict Quality, and 1c, Factors and Processes that Affect Quality; and NP 301 Action Plan Component 3, Genetic Improvement of Crops; Problem Area 3c, Germplasm Enhancement/Release of Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.

4. Prevalence of puroindoline alleles in wheat from eastern Asia. Wheat grain hardness results from natural mutations in the puroindoline genes, but mutation frequency varies in different gene pools and regions; eastern Asia has not been well characterized. The puroindoline gene sequence and kernel texture of a large number of wheat varieties from eastern Asia were determined by the ARS scientists at the Wheat Genetics, Quality Physiology, and Disease Research Unit in Pullman, WA; a new hardness mutation in puroindoline b was discovered. Manipulation and selection of puroindoline alleles is an important part of modern breeding strategies aimed at improving end-use quality. NP306 Action Plan Component 1, Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement; Problem Area 1a, Definition for Basis of Quality and 1c, Factors and Processes that Affect Quality; and NP 301 Action Plan Component 3, Genetic Improvement of Crops; Problem Area 3b, Capitalizing on Untapped Genetic Diversity, and Problem Area 3c, Germplasm Enhancement/Release of Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.

5. Collaboration on silencing puroindoine a using a puroindoline transgene. Kernel hardness, which is controlled by the action of puroindolines, is a key end-use quality trait in wheat, but the regulation of puroindolines is not completely understood. Collaborative research, by the ARS scientists at the Wheat Genetics, Quality Physiology, and Disease Research Unit in Pullman, WA, showed that over-expression of a puroindoline a transgene could suppress expression of the native puroindoline gene, which resulted in hard kernel texture. This research contributes to the overall understanding of how the puroindoline genes are regulated in wheat. NP306 Action Plan Component 1, Quality Characterization, Preservation, and Enhancement; Problem Area 1a, Definition for Basis of Quality and 1c, Factors and Processes that Affect Quality; and NP 301 Action Plan Component 3, Genetic Improvement of Crops; Problem Area 3c, Germplasm Enhancement/Release of Improved Genetic Resources and Varieties.


5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
SCEP employee/student at Washington State University is enrolled in the organic ag/sustainable agriculture program.


6.Technology Transfer

Number of Active CRADAs1
Number of Invention Disclosures Submitted1
Number of Web Sites Managed1
Number of Non-Peer Reviewed Presentations and Proceedings4
Number of Other Technology Transfer1

Review Publications
Morris, C.F., King, G.E. 2008. Registration of hard kernel puroindoline allele nearisogenic line hexaploid wheat genetic stocks. Journal of Plant Registrations 2:67-68.

Morris, C.F., Pitts, M.J., Bettge, A.D., Pecka, K., King, G.E., Mccluskey, P.J. 2008. The compressive strength of wheat endosperm: Analysis of endosperm 'bricks'. Cereal Chemistry 85(3):351-358.

Morris, C.F., Bettge, A.D., Pitts, M.J., King, G.E., Pecka, K., Mccluskey, P.J. 2008. The compressive strength of wheat endosperm: Comparison of endosperm 'bricks' to the single kernel characterization system. Cereal Chemistry 85(3):359-365.

Tanaka, H., Morris, C.F., Haruna, M., Tsujimoto, H. 2008. Prevalence of puroindoline alleles in wheat varieties from eastern Asia including the discovery of a new SNP in puroindoline b. Plant Genetic Resources 6:142-152.

Bhave, M., Morris, C.F. 2008. Molecular genetics of puroindolines and related genes: allelic diversity in wheat and other grasses. Plant Molecular Biology 66:205-219.

Bhave, M., Morris, C.F. 2008. Molecular genetics of puroindolines and related genes: regulation of expression, membrane binding properties and applications.. Plant Molecular Biology 66:221-231.

Brevis, J.C., Khan, I.A., Chicaaiza, O., Morris, C.F., Jackson, L., Dubcovsky, J. 2008. Agronomic and quality evaluation of common wheat near-isogenic lines carrying the leaf rust resistance gene Lr47. Crop Science 48:1441-1451.

Xia, L., Geng, H., Chen, X., He, Z., Lillemo, M., Morris, C.F. 2008. Silencing of puroindoline a alters the kernel texture in transgenic bread wheat. Journal of Cereal Science 47:331-338.

Isik, Z., Parmaksiz, I., Coruh, C., Geylan-Su, Y., Cebeci, O., Beecher, B.S., Budak, H. 2007. Organellar genome analysis of rye (Secale cereale) representing diverse geographic regions. Genome 50: 724-734.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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