Location: Grain Quality and Structure Research2016 Annual Report
Objective 1: Integration of experimental hard winter wheat germplasm, containing variability in starch and protein quality, into commercial usage across a range of production and meteorological climates. [C1; PS 1.A] Sub-objective 1A: Correlate starch and protein physiochemical changes with environmental variability for key hard winter wheat cultivars. Sub-objective 1B: Correlate the falling number test to the glucose meter for the detection of sprout damage in wheat. Objective 2: Congressionally directed mission of service, and non-hypothesis driven, the USDA-ARS Hard Winter Wheat Quality Laboratory will identify, evaluate, and screen the intrinsic end-use quality of hard winter wheat progenies in the Great Plains growing region to enhance cultivar development. [C1; PS 1.A] Sub-objective 2A: Evaluate and screen the quality attributes of hard winter wheat experimental breeding lines and improve quality of existing hard winter wheat cultivars for end-product quality of world’s wheat-based staples, such as bread (whole wheat), tortillas, noodles and other products desired by customer markets. Sub-objective 2B: Coordinate and conduct essential hard winter wheat projects of national importance, such as Wheat Quality Council (WQC), Regional Performance Nursery (RPN) and Hard Winter Wheat Crop Quality Survey (HWWCQS) for improvement of U.S wheat quality.
Cereal grains are the foundation of nutrition worldwide with the United States being a perennial leader in hard winter wheat (HWW) production and quality. Thus, domestic and international customers come to expect high quality wheat from the Great Plains. That said, there continues to be a fierce international competition for the global HWW market. U.S. wheat breeders, researchers, quality laboratories and producers are under continuous demands to deliver quality HWW just to hold a competitive edge in both domestic and international markets. Genetic and environmental variability are critical factors that affect HWW grain composition (starch and protein) and end-product quality (pre-harvest sprouting). To meet these challenges this project is composed of a multidisciplinary team that set objectives to determine the effect of HWW protein and starch in response to critical abiotic stress events. The project plan will also include the congressionally-mandated activities of the USDA Hard Winter Wheat Quality Laboratory (HWWQL). Due to recent reductions in funding, this Congressionally mandated laboratory utilizes in excess of 83% of the resources’ dedicated to this project. The HWWQL provides critical end-use quality data to the HWW growing region, and conducts three annual evaluation projects that include the Wheat Quality Council Evaluations, Regional Performance Nursery Program, and Hard Winter Wheat Crop Quality Survey. The data from these projects assist breeders, producers, millers, bakers, and other key industry components, in making pivotal decisions regarding breeding, agronomics, processing and marketing of experimental and commercial wheat varieties, as well as vital information regarding the environmental impact on established wheat cultivars.
Samples were collected from wheat subjected to a combination of treatments involving growth in the field or in heat tents with or without the application of nitrogen (Sub-objective 1A). Additionally, leaf structure variables; intact leaves, removal of all leaves with the exception of the flag leaf, which provides the majority of photosynthetic nutrition to the developing grain, removal of only the flag leaf and removal of all leaves were applied to the samples. Currently, analyses are underway on grain storage proteins to assess alterations in polymeric and monomeric protein components as a whole, and the individual protein constituents that make up each component. This data will provide information on the potential end-use quality characteristics of the grain, particularly dough mixing properties and dough strength which directly determines resulting bread quality. Hard red winter wheat samples have been collected and are currently optimizing germination protocols in lab (Sub-objective 1B). We are collaborating with Dr. Andrew Ross, Oregon State University; they are providing the germinated soft wheat varieties for analysis. Falling number analysis has been completed on all pre-germinated and germinated samples for comparison to glucometer readings. We have also been optimizing our Skalar continuous flow analysis system for glucose and a-amylase for comparison to the falling number analysis. We have also researched the use of miniaturized screen printed electrodes and a potentiometer as a glucose biosensor. This would provide a sensor designed to operate with glucose in water instead of a calibrating a glucometer designed to operate with blood. This work will lead to a more rapid analysis of suspected sprout damaged wheat. The Hard Winter Wheat Quality Laboratory (HWWQL) provides critical information to the plant breeding community, domestic and international markets on an annual basis (Sub-objective 2A). End-use quality evaluation of experimental wheat lines in the federally managed Regional Performance Nurseries, as well as evaluation of advanced lines submitted to the Wheat Quality Council, are service/research activities critical to the continued success of the Hard Winter Wheat (HWW) industry (Sub-objective 2B). In total, over 2000 wheat samples were tested by the HWWQL, with over 40 quality characteristics reported for each sample submitted. Real-time wheat quality data was also provided to Plains Grains Inc. during the annual wheat harvest and updated weekly online for potential buyers. Over 600 wheat samples were tested specifically for Plains Grains, Inc.
1. ARS scientists in Manhattan, Kansas completed the annual Crop Quality Survey in which over 600 individual, and over 100 composite, Hard winter wheat (HWW) was evaluated for milling and baking quality. The resulting data was posted in real-time to a webpage managed by Plains Grain Inc. as the harvest progressed; the data was also used by U.S. Wheat Associates in their final annual report for domestic and international export customers.
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