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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Enhancement of Hard Spring Wheat, Durum, and Oat Quality

Location: Cereal Crops Research

Project Number: 3060-43440-011-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Jun 03, 2010
End Date: Jun 02, 2015

Objective:
Identify milling, baking, and pasta processing traits of experimental and advanced lines of hard spring and durum wheat that impact end-use quality and the overall development and release of new commercial cultivars of wheat. Identify specific biochemical components in wheat that are associated with end-use baking quality traits. More specifically, to develop rapid methods to characterize proteins, which are initially important for predicting end-use quality; to determine the variation in free asparagine content in wheat, which is an important precursor for the formation of carcinogenic acrylamide during bread baking and toasting; and to identify the efficacy and impact of sulfur fertilization on end-use baking quality of hard spring wheat. Optimize methodologies for the extraction and analysis of soluble oat fiber components; determine environmental variation in the quantity and quality of ß-glucan as characterized in the first objective in newly developed high ß-glucan cultivars and other oat cultivars; and determine relationships between oil concentration and ß-glucan concentration in segregating crosses for these traits, as to how each affects groat breakage during dehulling.

Approach:
Approximately 4000 hard spring and 1000 durum wheat experimental lines will be submitted by Federal, State, and private breeders, and special interest groups on an annual basis and evaluated for end-use quality. Wheat will be obtained from different generations of development in specific breeding programs, which will include early-generation, preliminary, and advanced lines and include commercial cultivars as controls. Measureable end-use quality traits include test weight, size, seed weight, sprout damage, physical evidence of disease, and protein and ash content; milling performance as a function of flour and semolina yield; flour and semolina color, protein, and ash content; dough strength properties; bread baking quality; and pasta processing quality. The Fargo Genotyping Laboratory will identify quantitative trait loci regions associated with end-use quality, primarily kernel and dough strength traits on selected hard spring wheat samples. Research will be conducted on the rapid characterization of protein extracts from wheat and flour by testing two different protein extraction methods. Variation in free asparagine content in wheat lines will be measured. The efficacy and impact of sulfur fertilization on end-use baking quality of hard spring wheat, specifically protein composition and amino acid profiles, will be determined as a function of dough strength characteristics. To develop optimized methodologies for the extraction of beta-glucan from oats, samples of oats will be obtained from replicated plots grown in diverse environments over several years. The newly developed methods for the analysis of soluble fiber quality will be used to determine how environment might affect the quality and concentration of beta-glucan, especially in newly developed high beta-glucan cultivars. Beta-glucan effects on milling quality of oats will also be tested. Because beta-glucan is in the cell walls of oats, it is thought to provide a strengthening effect, which reduces groat breakage during dehulling. However, high oil in oats also seems to prevent groat breakage, and currently breeders have been unable to separate the traits of high oil and high beta-glucan in oats. A collaborating genetics program has developed populations of recombinant inbred lines from oat crosses designed to be segregating for high oil and high beta-glucan. We will evaluate the phenotypes of these lines and test their behavior during dehulling to determine the relative roles of oil and beta-glucan in preventing groat breakage during oat milling.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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