Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » WHGQ » Research » Research Project #428800

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

Location: Wheat Health, Genetics, and Quality Research

2016 Annual Report

The long-term objective of this project is to improve wheat quality, functionality and marketability in the Western U.S. Specifically, during the next five years we will focus on the following objectives: Objective 1: Resolve the underlying genetics of end-use quality traits, and identify useful genetic variation to produce predictable and new end uses. • Sub-objective 1A: Extend our understanding of the role(s) of kernel hardness and puroindoline genes in wheat grain quality and utilization. • Sub-objective 1B: Extend our understanding of the role(s) of starch composition and waxy genes on wheat grain quality and utilization. Objective 2: Increase the value and global competiveness of U.S. commercial wheat by enabling new technologies and methods to accurately assess end-use functionality; and to manipulate wheat fiber and antioxidant components to improve grain and flour quality. • Sub-objective 2A: Develop a model system for identifying putative grain flavor loci/genes in wheat. • Sub-objective 2B: Manipulate grain arabinoxylan content to improve flour quality, nutrition and utilization. Objective 3: Congressionally designated as a direct mission of service, and non-hypothesis driven, the USDA-ARS Western Wheat Quality Laboratory will identify, evaluate, and screen the intrinsic end-use quality to enhance cultivar development.

Objective 1A: Puroindoline a, b, and Grain softness protein-1 genes are amplified from genomic DNA via PCR and sequenced, followed by alignments and phylogenetic analyses. Aegilops tauschii accessions are obtained from germplasm banks. Unique haplotypes are identified in synthetic hexaploid wheats and evaluated for kernel texture. Soft durum lines derived from Soft Svevo will be increased and receive complete milling and baking analyses. Kernel texture variation in the RIL population derived from Butte 86 x ND2603 will be mapped. Kernel texture variation referred to as “Super-Soft” will be mapped using an Alpowa Super-Soft derivative. RILs will be developed using single seed descent. Contingencies: Marker density will need to be sufficient to detect linkage disequilibrium. If a particular chromosome or arm has low polymorphsism, then additional markers will be added. Objective 1B: Full waxy and partial waxy lines will be developed in Stephens, Xerpha, and MDM varieties. Waxy progeny are identified with I2/KI. Partial waxy lines are identified using PCR markers. NILs will be developed in a BC7F2 population using marker assisted selection. The 4A-null lines will be evaluated for Japanese Udon noodle. Full waxy lines will be evaluated in twin barrel extrusion. Objective 2a: A system that uses a common check variety will be developed. Hollis (yummy) and ID703 (yucky) were used to make a DH mapping population. DH line vs. check t-values will be used as the phenotypes for mapping. Mapping will be employed to identify candidate genes/QTLs for consumption preference. Contingencies: Different ‘check’ varieties may be needed depending on the relative preference/avoidance. If the QTLs from one check variety do not fully agree with the QTLs from the second check variety, then a third intermediate preference variety will be evaluated. If LOD scores are not sufficiently large, then a sub-set of lines with contrasting consumption preference will be evaluated with a larger number of mice. Objective 2b: Yumai 34 and Alpowa have high arabinoxylan (AX) content, whereas Louise has low levels. DH populations from Yumai 34 x Louise, Yumai 34 x Alpowa, and Alpowa x Yumai 34 were produced. These populations will be milled and baked, and evaluated by Solvent Retention Profiles and Bostwick viscosity. Total AX, water extractable AX (WE-AX), and arabinose to xylose ratio will be analyzed via GC-FID. All the DH lines will be genotyped with markers. Lines with contrasting high and low AX contents, high and low ratios of WE-AX vs. water unextractable, and high and low ratios of arabinose substitution will be identified. These traits will be compared with end-use quality phenotypes and will be analyzed via molecular markers. Contingencies: We will identify the ‘best’ choices for full AX analyses based on contrasting end-use quality traits. If there is not a ‘consensus’ among traits, then contrasting phenotypes will be selected for individual traits. Objective 3: Testing and evaluation of experimental wheat breeding germplasm follows standard testing protocols, including Approved Methods of AACCI and AOAC. Tests include grain, milling, flour and end-products tests.

Progress Report
This is the second report for this 5-year project which continues research from the previous project, “Enhance Wheat Quality, Functionality and Marketability in the Western U.S.”, 2090-43440-006-00D. Objective 1a. The USDA ARS collection of Aegilops tauschii was obtained and the sequencing and haplotyping of Puroindoline a, Puroindoline b, and Grain softness protein-1 was completed; Soft Svevo and Svevo were grown at multiple locations, grain samples were sent to collaborators in France where they were analyzed for milling and compositional analysis, a manuscript with those results was submitted; ND2603 x Butte 86 population was grown, analyzed for kernel hardness phenotype and Genotyping-by-Sequencing (GBS) was performed; F2 plants of a ‘Alpowa Super-Soft’ by ‘Alpowa’ cross were recently harvested. Objective 1b. Waxy Stephens, Xerpha and MDM germplasm were grown in the greenhouse and backcrossed to the recurrent parent; a BC7F2 waxy Alpowa population was grown and the progeny were haplotyped for waxy genes using PCR, since not all of the allele combinations were recovered, the cross was re-made and F1 progeny were grown in the greenhouse. Objective 2a. Hard red spring and hard white spring wheat cultivars were evaluated in our mouse model using Yummy (Y) and yucky (y) controls, and the results were evaluated to test the utility of using the t-test as a consumption phenotype, a paper was published on the results (ARIS 317640); a bi-parental recombinant inbred population from the cross Clark’s Cream x NY6418 was evaluated using the mouse model with the t-test protocol, and a manuscript describing the results was submitted. Objective 2b. A Yumai 34 x Louise doubled haploid population was grown in the field, and submitted to the regional genotyping lab, results are anticipated.

1. Soft kernel durum wheat is a new bakery ingredient for food processors and a new raw material for pasta. Currently, durum wheat production and utilization are limited by its very hard kernel texture, which restricts its culinary uses. An ARS scientist in Pullman, Washington, in cooperation with University of Minnesota researchers, has determined the dough rheology and starch pasting properties of durum wheat with soft kernel texture. The research indicated that soft kernel trait reduced flour particle size and starch damage, and might reduce gluten strength. This research adds to the body of technical information regarding the performance and end-use applications of soft durum wheat.

2. Mice prefer Yummy (Y) wheat grain. Whole grain wheat foods can provide critical nutrients for health and nutrition in the human diet, but undesirable flavors limit consumption. The house mouse is highly discriminating in what wheat varieties it prefers to eat, and thus is being used as a model system to investigate the genetic basis of wheat flavor. However, to conduct genetic mapping, a consumption “phenotype” must be generated. An ARS scientist in Pullman, Washington, in cooperation with a Washington State University researcher, studied the use of the t statistic produced in two-sample feeding trials as the phenotype. This novel approach to genetic mapping showed that by using two check varieties, the t statistic could be an effective phenotype with which to conduct genetic mapping. This research will help identify wheat varieties to use in human sensory panels, and facilitate the identification of the underlying genetics associated with flavor differences.

3. Quinoa is a new and rapidly expanding grain for consumers and food processors. Knowledge of how salinity and fertilizer affect the grain quality of different quinoa varieties is lacking. ARS scientists in Pullman, Washington, in cooperation with Washington State University researchers, found that salinity had a minor effect on seed protein content compared to fertilizer and variety. Seed hardness varied most due to salinity and variety. Also, the type of salinity had a bearing on seed quality traits. These results indicate that seed quality can be controlled to some extent by variety selection and breeding, and that fertilizer can increase the nutritional quality of quinoa.


Review Publications
Carter, B.P., Galloway, M.T., Morris, C.F., Weaver, G.L., Carter, A.H. 2015. The case for water activity as a specification for wheat tempering and flour production. Cereal Foods World. 60:166-170.
Kiszonas, A., Fuerst, E.P., Morris, C.F. 2015. Use of student’s t statistic as a phenotype of relative consumption preference of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grain. Journal of Cereal Science. 65:285-289.
Kiszonas, A., Fuerst, E.P., Morris, C.F. 2015. Modeling end-use quality in U. S. soft wheat germplasm. Cereal Chemistry. 92:57-64.
Morris, C.F. 2016. Cereals: Overview of uses: accent on wheat grain. In: Wrigley, C., Corke, H., Seetharaman, K., Faubion, J., editors. Encyclopedia of Food Grains. 2nd edition. Oxford, England:Academic Press. p. 1-7.
Morris, C.F. 2016. Evaluation of wheat-grain quality attributes. In: Wrigley, C., Corke, H., Seetharaman, K., Faubion, J., editors. Encyclopedia of Food Grains. 2nd edition. Oxford, England:Academic Press. p. 251-256.
Morris, C.F. 2016. Grain-Quality attributes for cereals other than wheat. In: Wrigley, C., Corke, H., Seetharaman, K., Faubion, J., editors. Encyclopedia of Food Grains. 2nd edition. Oxford, England:Academic Press. p. 257-261.
Park, E.Y., Baik, B.-K., Miller, P.R., Burke, I.C., Wegner, E.A., Tautges, N.E., Morris, C.F., Puerst, E. 2015. Functional and nutritional characteristics of wheat grown in organic and conventional cropping systems. Cereal Chemistry. 92(5):504-512.
Quayson, E.T., Atwell, W., Morris, C.F., Marti, A. 2016. Empirical rheology and pasting properties of soft-textured durum wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. durum) and hard-textured common wheat (T. aestivum). Journal of Cereal Science. 69:252-258.
Sherman, J., Nash, D., Lanning, S.P., Martin, J.M., Blake, N.K., Morris, C.F., Talbert, L.E. 2014. Genetics of end-use quality differences between a modern and historical spring wheat. Crop Science. 54:1972-1980.
Szymanski, R.M., Morris, C.F. 2015. Internal structure of carbonized wheat (Triticum spp.) grains-relationships to kernel texture and ploidy. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany. 24:503-515.
Wu, G., Peterson, A.J., Morris, C.F., Murphy, K.M. 2016. Quinoa seed quality response to sodium chloride and sodium sulfate salinity. Frontiers in Plant Science. 7:790.