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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Cereal Crops Research » Research » Research Project #437998

Research Project: Identification and Characterization of Quality Parameters for Enhancement of Marketability of Hard Spring Wheat, Durum, and Oat

Location: Cereal Crops Research

2021 Annual Report

Objective 1: Resolve changes in analytical methods (liquid chromatography, and near infrared and mid infrared spectroscopy) to rapidly evaluate phenotypic traits of hard spring wheat, durum, and oat elite cultivars. Sub-Objectives: 1.A. Improve the characterization of polymeric proteins in hard spring wheat and durum. 1.B. Improve liquid chromatography to characterize gliadin proteins in hard spring wheat and durum. 1.C. Develop an improved liquid chromatography procedure to characterize proteins in oat. 1.D. Develop near infrared and mid infrared models to rapidly predict quality traits in hard spring wheat, durum, and oat. Objective 2: Evaluate and report the milling (processing and intrinsic end-use quality) parameters of hard spring wheat, durum, and oat commercially viable cultivars as part of a Congressionally-designated direct mission of service (non-hypothesis driven). Sub-Objectives: 2.A. Identify and evaluate processing and intrinsic end-use quality traits of experimental hard spring and durum wheat lines. 2.B. Identify and evaluate biochemical and processing quality traits of experimental oat lines.

High quality grains are in demand for both domestic and international agricultural markets. The Hard Spring and Durum Wheat Quality Laboratory will evaluate processing and end-use quality traits of breeders’ experimental lines of wheat and oat relative to physical and biochemical attributes and genetic and environmental influences. This research is important to identify wheat lines that are of superior milling, baking, and processing quality before they are considered for commercial release. Since large numbers of samples need to be evaluated in a limited time frame in a plant breeding program, it is important to rapidly identify wheat and oat lines that are of superior processing and end-product quality. Research will be conducted to develop improved or innovative analytical methods that can rapidly characterize quality traits for hard spring wheat, durum, and oat. Specifically, research will be performed to resolve changes in liquid chromatography to rapidly characterize proteins that are important factors influencing processing and end-product quality. Research will also be conducted to improve prediction of quality traits using Fourier transform near infrared and mid-infrared spectroscopy. Machine learning, a new calibration method, will also be examined to calibrate prediction models of quality traits. Ultimately, the value of this research lies in its potential to enhance competitiveness of U.S. hard spring wheat, durum, and oat in domestic and international trade, increasing their market value.

Progress Report
Sub-Objective 1.A. In wheat, individual proteins interact to form aggregates of proteins called polymeric proteins. The protein aggregates have significant associations with gluten functional quality in wheat. We applied complex chemical techniques to analyze the protein aggregates for 132 hard spring wheat samples. The analytical data will be further processed to determine both the mass and average size of the protein aggregates and their associations with wheat quality traits. The wheat samples were also measured for absorption of near infrared and midinfrared light. The research will be continued to investigate if the absorption data can be used to predict protein characteristics. Sub-Objective 1.B. Gliadin proteins are a major part of the protein composition of wheat and are needed for gluten functionality in bread baking. We developed an improved analysis pipeline for gliadins in wheat, which enhanced the speed of gliadin analysis and used less solvent. Gliadins were measured using a technique called liquid chromatography which separates proteins by size and chemical composition and previously required 66 minutes per sample. Refinements in the procedure have reduced that time to 36 minutes, almost doubling the capacity of the testing lab and thus enhancing analysis capability for breeding programs selecting for improved processing and end-quality traits. Sub-Objective 1.D. We established a reference procedure to determine dietary fiber in oat. Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy was used to rapidly analyze the quality components in cereal grain by measuring absorption of NIR light of grain or products of grain. The absorption data can be associated with certain traits like kernel hardness or protein content. The reference procedure will be used to determine if midrange wavelengths of infrared light (MIR) as well as NIR absorption measurements can be correlated with dietary fiber content in oats. Sub-objective 2A. We evaluated and reported end-use quality traits on approximately 3550 experimental lines and cultivars of hard red spring and durum wheat. Samples were submitted by private and public wheat breeders involved in wheat germplasm improvement and by scientists involved in gene mapping to identify regions in the wheat genome associated with end-use quality traits. Over 40 different tests related to wheat kernel characteristics, milling performance, and flour, semolina, dough, and baking quality were conducted. Reports were provided to wheat breeders and other federal, state, and private organizations with an interest in end-use quality. In cooperation with the Wheat Quality Council (WQC), eight experimental hard spring wheat lines, grown at six different locations, were evaluated along with the check cultivars Linkert and LCS Rebel. We tested each line for kernel, milling, flour, dough, and bread-baking quality traits, coordinated the baking quality test results from 11 independent public and private testing laboratories, and analyzed the data. Results were published, presented, and discussed at the annual WQC meeting. Sub-objective 2.B: We evaluated 294 oat samples from the Spring Uniform Oat Performance Nursery for important biochemical components such as protein, beta-glucan, and oil content. Oat groat physical characteristics were analyzed using a single kernel characterization system. By measuring how the oat kernels absorb near infrared light, quality traits were determined without long, expensive testing. Near infrared absorption measurements were collected on the 294 oat samples to develop and improve prediction models of oat quality components.

1. Development of improved wheat germplasm. Wheat producers, milling and baking industries, and overseas customers require high wheat quality standards to meet their evolving needs. ARS researchers in Fargo, North Dakota, contributed wheat end-use quality data that helped lead to the development of improved wheat germplasm and the subsequent release of new cultivars of spring and durum wheat for commercial production. Specifically, this work contributed to the release of the hard spring wheat cultivar “ND Frohberg” by North Dakota State University in 2021. “ND Frohberg” was released for its good yield potential, very good disease resistance, and strong milling and baking quality.

2. Relationship between protein parameters and cooking quality of fresh pasta made from durum wheat. Recently, the demand for fresh pasta has increased. However, little information has been reported regarding the influence of wheat proteins on cooking quality in fresh pasta. ARS researchers in Fargo, North Dakota, explored associations between proteins and cooking quality traits of fresh pasta made from durum wheat. This research identified protein components that had dominant roles in determining cooking quality of fresh pasta. The information obtained from this research will be valuable for the quality evaluation of durum wheat in plant breeding programs and the pasta-making industry.

3. Gluten extraction from toxin-contaminated wheat by wet milling. Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a toxin that occurs in grain infected with the fungal disease, Fusarium head blight (FHB), and is the major determinant for accepting FHB contaminated grain for human use. Gluten protein can be extracted from wheat grains with wet milling processes. Because DON is soluble in water, a wet milling process can be a valuable method to remove DON in wheat flour. ARS researchers in Fargo, North Dakota, investigated the impact of three different small-scale wet milling procedures on the removal of DON and the quality of extracted gluten. A wet milling procedure was identified to produce gluten with very low DON levels, as well as producing near commercial grade gluten. This result will be a valuable option to promote the utilization of DON-contaminated wheat in gluten production.

4. Determination of bread making quality characteristics of flour obtained from an experimental long-flow mill. Various flour streams (millstreams) are produced in commercial wheat milling. Because the millstreams differ in quality, millstreams are blended to meet end user specifications. ARS researchers in Fargo, North Dakota, investigated variation of quality traits for millstreams attained from a large-scale experimental milling system that imitates commercial mills. Ash content was not useful for quality evaluation, but a fiber component known as arabinoxylan was identified as a better index of bread baking quality. The information obtained in this research is novel and valuable for grain millers to optimize the functionality of flour blends, especially in the large-scale milling of hard red spring wheat.

Review Publications
Baasandorj, T., Ohm, J., Simsek, S. 2020. Physicochemical and bread-making characteristics of millstreams obtained from an experimental long-flow mill in hard red spring wheat. Cereal Chemistry.
Lan, Y., Ohm, J., Chen, B., Rao, J. 2021. Microencapsulation of hempseed oil by pea protein isolate sugar beet pectin complex coacervation: Influence of coacervation pH and wall/core ratio. Food Hydrocolloids. 113:106423.
Vatansever, S., Whitney, K., Ohm, J., Simsek, S., Hall, C. 2020. Physicochemical and multi-scale structural alterations of pea starch induced by supercritical carbon dioxide + ethanol extraction. Food Chemistry. 344:128699.
Magallanes Lopez, A.M., Ohm, J., Manthey, F.A., Rao, J., Simsek, S. 2020. Gluten extraction from deoxynivalenol contaminated wheat by wet milling. Food Control. 120:107513.
Jobson, E., Ohm, J., Martin, J., Giroux, M. 2020. Rht-1 semi-dwarfing alleles increase the abundance of high molecular weight glutenin subunits. Cereal Chemistry.
Yue, J., Gu, Z., Zhu, Z., Yi, J., Ohm, J., Chen, B., Rao, J. 2020. Impact of defatting treatment and oat varieties on structural, functional properties, and aromatic profile of oat protein. Food Hydrocolloids. 112:106368.
Garvin, D.F., Dykes, L. 2021. Evaluating milling and baking quality associated with a Fusarium head blight resistance-enhancing genome deletion in wheat. Cereal Research Communications. 49:413-419.
Moayedi, S., Ohm, J., Manthey, F.A. 2021. Relationship between cooking quality of fresh pasta made from durum wheat and protein content and molecular weight distribution parameters. Cereal Chemistry. 98(4):891-902.
Liu, Y., Ohm, J., Wiersma, J., Kaiser, D. 2021. Associations of sulfur content and protein molecular weight distribution with bread-making quality for patent and mill stream flours in hard red spring wheat grown under sulfur fertilization at two locations. Journal of Agricultural and Crop Research. 9(3):60-71.
Anderson, J.A., Wiersma, J.J., Reynolds, S.K., Conley, E.J., Caspers, R., Linkert, G.L., Kolmer, J.A., Jin, Y., Rouse, M.N., Dill-Macky, R., Smith, M.J., Dykes, L., Ohm, J. 2021. Registration of 'Lang-MN' hard red spring wheat. Journal of Plant Registrations. 15(3):479-489.