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ARS Home » Research » Research Project #419735

Research Project: Enhance Wheat Quality, Functionality and Marketability in the Western U.S.


Project Number: 2090-43440-006-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jun 13, 2010
End Date: May 5, 2015

1. In cooperation with breeders and geneticists, identify and facilitate the manipulation of genetic variation of end use quality characteristics in western wheat. Specific end-use quality traits to be studied include: kernel texture (sub-objective 1a), starch and non-starch carbohydrates (sub-objective 1b), polyphenol oxidase activity (sub-objective 1c), and overall milling and baking performance of wheat breeding lines (sub-objective 1d). Sub-Objective 1a. Alter wheat kernel hardness characteristics by identifying and incorporating novel puroindoline gene alleles and texture-related QTLs. Sub-Objective 1b. Determine the degree to which manipulation of polysaccharide content and structure can affect the end-use quality characteristics of wheat flour. Sub-Objective 1c. Determine the degree to which the many polyphenol oxidase genes in wheat impact noodle dough color stability. Sub-Objective 1d. Develop wheat cultivars with superior end-use quality characteristics in collaboration with regional wheat breeders and geneticists. 2. Develop, modify, and evaluate technologies and methodologies for measuring wheat kernel characteristics that impact end use functionality. Specific characteristics to be measured include: Kernel texture (sub-objective 2a), arabinoxylan composition (sub-objective 2b), gluten quality (sub-objective 2c) and polyphenol oxidase activity (sub-objective 2d). Sub-Objective 2a. Determine the reliability and performance of an endosperm brick test developed at the WWQL. Sub-Objective 2b. Develop a diagnostic assay for oxidative gelation of arabinoxylans in flour batters using free-radical-induced/peroxidase-mediated oxidative cross-linking. Sub-Objective 2c. Test a recently developed laser-based prototype instrument for measuring gluten strength via SDS-sedimentation (in collaboration with a scientist at GIPSA) Sub-Objective 2d. Modify our existing PPO L-DOPA assay to identify very low levels of grain PPO. 3. Identify and manipulate the biochemical constituents of wheat to improve the nutritional functionality of grain and flour, specifically dietary fiber and antioxidant content.

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 polyphenol oxidase 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.