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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Grain Quality and Structure Research » Research » Research Project #437962

Research Project: Measurement and Improvement of Hard Winter Wheat End-Use Quality Traits

Location: Grain Quality and Structure Research

Project Number: 3020-44000-027-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Apr 3, 2020
End Date: Apr 2, 2025

OBJECTIVE 1: Determine and improve analytical methods for the biochemical and macro-molecular interactions responsible for hard winter wheat end-use quality. Sub-objective 1A: Establish connections between glutenin subunit composition and polymeric protein content and composition and functionality of hard winter wheat. Subobjective 1B: Assess the potential of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in the evaluation of tortilla quality, particularly changes that occur in tortillas during the staling process and compare to subjective analysis (rollability) and objective analysis. OBJECTIVE 2: Evaluate and report the milling (processing and intrinsic end-use quality) parameters of hard winter wheat commercially-viable cultivars as part of a Congressionally-designated direct mission of service. Subobjective 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 the world’s wheat-based staples, such as bread (whole wheat), tortillas, noodles and other products desired by customer markets. Subobjective 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 food and nutrition worldwide with the United States being a perennial leader in hard winter wheat (HWW) production. Thus, domestic and international customers come to expect high quality wheat from the Great Plains. That said, there continues to be challenging international competition for the global HWW market. To ensure the U.S. remains competitive both domestically and internationally, the end-use quality of hard HWW must continually be evaluated and improved. This project will identify the physical and biochemical components of hard winter wheat that contribute to functionality. In addition, we will evaluate the intrinsic end-use quality of hard winter wheat progenies for wheat breeding programs in the Great Plains Area as a regional wheat quality laboratory (Hard Winter Wheat Quality Laboratory, HWWQL). 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, as well as hundreds of breeding lines from breeders in the Great Plains and adapted HWW areas of eastern States, such as NC, SC, GA, KY and VA. 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.