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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » WHGQ » Research » Research Project #426091

Research Project: Soft Kernel Durum Wheat: Removing the Culinary Constraints of this Genetically Rich Cereal Species

Location: Wheat Health, Genetics, and Quality Research

Project Number: 2090-43440-007-002-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2013
End Date: Aug 31, 2018

Develop elite durum germplasm with (i) soft kernels (Puroindolines), (ii) strong high molecular weight glutenin proteins (Glu-D1, Dx5+Dy10) and “Bx7 over expressing” allele (Glu-B1, Bx7oe+By8), and (iii) high grain protein (Gpc-B1). All germplasm lines will have soft kernels and different combinations of gluten/high protein genes. These are grain composition traits and do not adversely affect yield, disease or drought resistance (Gpc-B1 may hasten senescence).

Soft kernel and Dx5+Dy10 have already been transferred to durum via Ph1b (Pairing homoeologous 1) (Crop Sci. 51:114 & 43:1138). We will move Bx7oe the same way. Gpc-B1 is in the commercial UC Davis durum cultivar ‘Desert King-High Protein’. Soft kernel, Dx5+Dy10 and Gpc-B1 will be introgressed into elite durum germplasm by crossing with the CIMMYT International Durum Yield Nursery (n = 50). Our commercially viable cv. ‘Soft Svevo’ is the soft durum donor parent. F1 plants will be ‘top crossed’ with the Dx5+Dy10 durum lines. F1s will be grown from each top cross, 96 F2 kernels from each will be grown for seedling leaf tissue/DNA, and then evaluated for Puroindolines and Dx5+Dy10 via PCR/MAS. Selections will be grown to maturity, and verified for kernel softness. The F2 derived soft/5+10 F3 bulked seed lots will be split, one part sent to CIMMYT for field evaluations and individual plant selections, the other increased at WSU for milling and baking trials in our lab. To further enhance durum germplasm, we will cross ‘Langdon 47’ (Ph1a/Ph1b monosomic) to ‘Glenlea’ hexaploid hard red spring wheat with Bx7oe. F1 plants will be grown, and used as males to cross with ‘Soft Svevo’ durum females (monosomic chromosomes rarely transfer via pollen). Embryo rescue will be performed at the WSU Doubled Haploid Facility, seedlings will be grown to maturity, F2 seeds will be harvested, germinated, checked cytologically for 28 chromosomes, and selections grown to maturity. Plants will be harvested and F3 seedlings evaluated for Bx7oe recombination and functional Ph1a via PCR. Selections will feed directly back into the soft-converted CIMMYT germplasm. Initial selections will be increased in head rows and milling and baking quality will be evaluated in our lab (Western Wheat Quality Lab).