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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics


Location: Cereal Crops Research

2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Objective 1. Identify, develop, validate, and implement new measurements of malting quality, especially those relating to protein mobilization during germination, in barley germplasm in order to identify those genotypes showing enhanced malting quality attributes. Objective 2. Apply standard malting quality assessments to germplasm submitted by collaborating public sector barley breeding programs, researchers, and other stakeholder organizations in order to identify new (barley) varieties with suitable malting quality attributes.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Surveying populations that have been extensively genotyped and mapped for malting quality will allow us to generate datasets that include process (proteinase activity), phenotype (malting quality), and genotype (>3000 SNP loci) information. Examining a range of barley genetic resources will enable us to use that genetic diversity to identify fundamental processes underlying malting quality. We will use this information to identify new targets and develop additional mechanisms to screen for improved malting barley genotypes. The new screening mechanisms may involve biochemical measurements that we could implement in our malting quality analysis program. Alternatively, the new tests could utilize genetic tools that breeders could incorporate into their own germplasm characterization, simplifying and streamlining their malting quality selection process.

3. Progress Report:
Fundamental basis of malting quality research. Data from malting quality analysis and activities of three classes of proteolytic enzymes for a genetically defined population of barley were provided to our collaborating barley breeding colleagues. This population (recombinant chromosomal substitution lines) consists of 300 backcrossed lines each containing discrete chromosomal segments from a wild barley (Hordeum spontaneum) in a background of a high-quality malting barley (c.v. Harrington). Analysis of malting quality data, proteinase activity, in the context of the genetic composition of the lines, will allow association of the variations in malting quality and proteinase activity with either wild or malting barley, as well as quantitative trait loci (QTL) identified in the lines. Preliminary analysis of the data shows clear QTL associated with proteinase activities (first observation of proteinase QTL). Detailed analysis and manuscript preparation with collaborators are in progress. Similarly, analysis of the proteinase activities and malting quality of 2009 crop year breeders submissions and manuscript preparation from samples included in the Barley Coordinated Agricultural Project are also in progress. Novel malting quality measurement methodology. We completed and published a study examining methods for use of a microplate reader to analyze wort free amino nitrogen (FAN) concentrations in a reduced-volume format amenable to the small volume worts developed recently. Interestingly, we found that simply adjusting volumes of the standard FAN methodology did not result in reliable, comparable results at the micro scale. However, after evaluation of a number of experimental parameters and chemistry, we identified a suitable modification that allowed reliable estimation of wort FAN content at the reduced volumes. Malting Quality Analysis (QA) support. Our QA program malted and analyzed over 5000 barley samples for United States public sector barley breeding programs in routine operation. In addition, we malted and analyzed approximately 500 nursery and special project samples for stakeholders, providing accurate results and analysis in a timely fashion meeting needed or requested reporting dates.

4. Accomplishments

Review Publications
Schmitt, M., Budde, A.D. 2011. Malting extremely small quantities of barley. Journal of American Society of Brewing Chemists. 69(4):191-199.

Schmitt, M., Budde, A.D. 2012. Wort free amino nitrogen analysis adapted to a microplate format. Journal of American Society of Brewing Chemists. 70(2):95-102.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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