This project is focused on enhancing wheat grain quality in the Western U.S. and elsewhere by providing the knowledge and means to breed better quality wheat varieties. We will achieve three primary objectives: 1) Resolve the underlying genetics of kernel texture (grain hardness), 2) develop wheat germplasm with lower and higher levels of starch amylose, and 3) collaboratively develop superior and novel wheat cultivars for the Western U.S. to ensure that millers and food processors have superior food ingredients, farmers grow high-value crops and consumers have appealing, nutritious and less expensive foods. Production of superior wheat cultivars makes the U.S. more competitive abroad and U.S. agriculture more sustainable. Objectives 1 and 2 are separated each into two Subobjectives, 1A involves the role of puroindolines, and other kernel texture loci derived from Aegilops tauschii, Extra-Soft, and Super-Soft germplasm. Subobjective 2B involves Granule bound starch synthase I and Starch branching enzyme IIa to reduce and increase amylose, respectively. Subobjectives 1B and 2B involve developing germplasm and genetic stocks with novel traits. The above objectives represent multiple, interrelated issues of improving wheat quality, functionality, and marketability that have been identified by the PNW Wheat Quality Council over the last 20+ years during their annual collaborative tests. Project objectives and linkages among other projects that contribute to achievement of the overall project goal are illustrated in Figure 1. Guidance and input to the project plan come from a number of sources. Peer science guides the direction and evaluates the quality of much of the research on end-use quality traits. By synthesizing the needs of the end-use sector and state-of-the-art science, cutting-edge, relevant research is targeted. The result is embodied in Objectives 1 and 2, and the traits that will be studied. By extension and creativity, novel traits are envisaged and studied (e.g. ‘Super Soft’ kernel trait and soft durum). The outcome/products are improved cultivars that have superior and predicable end-use quality, genetic stocks, novel germplasm and new knowledge. In guiding the breeder line evaluation (Objective 3), the PNW Wheat Quality Council provides direct input from a large and representative number of end-users, cereal scientists, and stakeholders. New varieties are evaluated and discussed in an open forum. These discussions provide for establishing specific testing methodologies and strategies as well as specific target values.
Objectives 1 and 2: Extend our understanding of the role(s) of kernel hardness, puroindolines and other genes in wheat grain quality and utilization. Hypothesis: Different gene sequences of puroindoline a and b modulate different levels of kernel hardness; additional novel non-puroindoline genes/loci affect kernel texture. Extend our understanding of the role(s) of starch composition, including Waxy and high amylose genes on wheat grain quality and utilization. Hypothesis: Starch composition, i.e., amylose: amylopectin ratios can be manipulated via null mutations in GBSSI and SbeIIa; wheat with different starch composition provides novel processing and nutritional opportunities. Puroindoline a, Puroindoline b and Grain softness protein-1 genes are sequenced. Aegilops tauschii and synthetic hexaploid wheats are obtained from germplasm collections. Synthetics are evaluated for kernel texture phenotype. Unique lines are crossed to Alpowa soft white spring wheat. The genetic basis for Extra-Soft and Super Soft genes hexaploid and durum germplasm will be determined. Develop germplasm and genetic stocks with unique starch biosynthesis genes. Develop, register and release spring wheat NILs for all eight haplotypes of GBSSI and SbeIIa; develop soft white winter wheat germplasm with the GBSS 4A null allele. The unique synthetics, backcross NILs, and starch mutants will be grown for milling and baking evaluations. Germplasm will be released and registered. Contingencies: The experiments with synthetics are dependent on obtaining germplasm from the USDA and other repositories and having greenhouse space available. All other germplasm is currently housed in the WWQL. Successful crossing and plant growth, equipment being operational, etc. are essential. Marker density will need to be sufficient to detect the loci of interest. The effect of the environment on phenotypic expression of kernel texture will be addressed through replicated trials over two or more environments. Objective 3: Evaluate and report the milling and end-use quality of PNW wheat under a Congressionally-designated direct mission of service, with the goal to develop and release new wheat cultivars to growers. Most tests follow AACCI Approved Methods. Standard methods include SKCS, Quadrumat milling, Solvent Retention Capacity, SDS sedimentation, Mixograph, cookie and bread baking.
Progress was made on all three objectives, which fall under NP306. In support of Objective 1, research continues on the utilization of genetics to identify new commercial end-uses of Western wheat. Collaborative research with Washington State University demonstrated that soft kernel durum wheat flour was an effective raw material for extrusion food processing. Two studies advanced our understanding of sponge cake baking quality, an important use of soft white wheat, the first examined a meta analysis over 18 years of study, the second determined important genes contributing to higher quality cakes. Specific proteins in wheat, oats and related cereal grains control grain hardness, and pathogen resistance. A comprehensive review of this class of proteins was conducted to provide a means of providing a consistent description and nomenclature. These same proteins, as mentioned, can act as antibiotics. In collaboration with researchers at Washington State University, the antibiotic activity of the essential portion of one of these proteins was shown to be effective against several food-borne pathogens. Lastly, in collaboration with the University of Idaho and Washington State University, ARS researchers in Pullman, Washington, demonstrated that roller milling dry split peas into flour was highly efficient and provided food processors a valuable ingredient. In support of Objective 2, research continues on developing wheat germplasm with superior and/or novel end-use quality characteristics. Starch is key component of wheat grain and flour. The composition of starch can be readily modified using mutations to three key biosynthetic genes. A new variety, USDA Lori, was developed and released. USDA Lori’s starch lacks one of the two structural constituents (amylose) rendering the starch, flour, and grain especially amenable to extrusion, puffing and other novel food processing techniques. We also summarized the strategies and traits involved in evaluating, selecting, and breeding new soft white wheat varieties. In support of Objective 3, research continues in evaluating and reporting the milling (processing and intrinsic end-use quality) parameters of Western Soft White Common and Club (spring and winter), Hard Red Winter and Spring, and Hard White Winter and Spring Wheat commercially-viable germplasm as part of Congressionally-designated direct mission of service (non-hypothesis driven). A total of ca. 4,500 experimental wheat germplasm and commercial cultivars were evaluated. This research contributed to the cooperative release of Stingray CL+ and Resilience CL+.
1. An 18 year retrospective of cake quality. Sponge cake is an essential end use of Pacific Northwest soft white wheat. A long-term analysis of cake quality can evaluate breeding efforts to produce high quality varieties. ARS scientists in Pullman, Washington, have analyzed a large 18-year data set of cake quality and found that environment was a greater source of cake variation; varieties tended to be highly consistent, especially club wheats. Sponge cake quality has remained remarkably consistent during the last 18 years.
2. Stingray CL+, a new soft white winter wheat. Soft white winter wheat is the leading type grown in the Northwest United States. New varieties provide producers with higher yields and lower risks associated with diseases. An ARS scientist in Pullman, Washington, in cooperation with researchers at Washington State University, developed and released ‘Stingray CL+’, a soft white winter wheat variety. Stingray CL+ is a semi-dwarf variety adapted to the higher rainfall regions of Washington. Stingray CL+ has high grain yield and resistance to stripe rust. Stingray CL+ will provide producers an additional option for growing high yielding wheat in eastern Washington.
3. Resilience CL+, a new soft white winter wheat. Soft white winter wheat is the leading type grown in the Northwest United States. New varieties provide producers with higher yields and lower risks associated with diseases. An ARS scientist in Pullman, Washington, in cooperation with researchers at Washington State University, developed and released ‘Resilience CL+’ a soft white winter wheat variety. Resilience CL+ has high grain yield potential, resistance to stripe rust and foot rot. Resilience CL+ will provide producers an additional option for growing high yielding wheat in easter Washington.
4. USDA Lori, a new soft white spring waxy wheat. Waxy wheat has a novel starch composition that makes it attractive for unique food applications. An ARS scientist in Pullman, Washington, in cooperation with researchers at Washington State University, developed and released the waxy soft white spring wheat variety ‘USDA Lori’. Grain yields of USDA Lori was similar to the popular soft white spring wheat variety Louise at 15 of 18 growing locations. The release and licensing of USDA Lori provides producers, processors, and consumers with a novel raw material for foods.
5. Roller milling performances of yellow split peas. Interest in pulse crops, including dry yellow split peas is increasing due to their healthy and sustainable attributes. One important means of preparing split peas for use in foods is roller milling them into flour. An ARS scientist in Pullman, Washington, in cooperation with researchers at Washington State University, evaluated the milling performance of yellow split peas. Peas produced consistent flours across nine mill streams; over half the flour was produced from just two streams. Pea flour starch damage was similar to wheat flour; functional properties were highly consistent across eight of the nine streams representing 99% of the flour. Yellow split pea flour will be a valuable ingredient for making highly nutritious plant-based foods.
6. Soft kernel durum wheat has potential for extruded foods. Soft kernel durum has the potential to increase durum wheat production and expand its utilization in consumer foods. An ARS scientist in Pullman, Washington, in cooperation with researchers at Washington State University, extruded soft kernel durum flour using different moisture contents, screw speeds, and barrel temperatures. Low barrel temperature and moisture content with the highest screw speed produced the best extruded product with a high expansion ratio. Extruded soft kernel durum wheat has potential to make novel snack and cereal products.
7. Indolines are an important class of proteins in oats and other cereal grains. Indolines control kernel hardness in wheat and have been shown to exert anti-microbial effects in cereals including oat. A thorough analysis of the indolines can advance our understanding of the indolines and guide crop improvement efforts. An ARS scientist in Pullman, Washington, in cooperation with a researcher at South Dakota State University, performed an analysis of the sequences of various indolines, assigned groupings and recommended a uniform system of naming. Harmonization of indoline nomenclature will bring clarity and a more in-depth understanding of this group of proteins.
8. Genetics of sponge cake quality. Sponge cake is a leading use of Pacific Northwest soft white wheat. The genetic basis for sponge cake quality is not fully known. An ARS scientist in Pullman, Washington, in cooperation with researchers at Washington State University analyzed the underlying genetic structure of sponge cake quality, and identified specific genes that contributed to high quality cakes. Identification of these genes provides a mechanism to select superior wheat germplasm much earlier in the breeding process.
9. Certain wheat proteins inhibit food-borne pathogens. Food-borne pathogens are a significant public health concern. Developing non-antibiotic treatments is desirable for long term control. An ARS scientist in Pullman, Washington, in cooperation with researchers at Washington State University, analyzed the effectiveness of a short portion of two wheat proteins for anti-biotic activity. One of the two was shown to be particularly effective against multiple food-borne pathogens such as salmonella.
10. Breeding and quality of soft white wheat. Clear guidelines for defining the quality of soft white wheat are essential for effective germplasm selection and breeding new varieties. An ARS scientist in Pullman, Washington, published a clear set of guidelines with accompanying values for each test/trait that is involved in determining the quality of soft white wheat grain and flour.
Morris, C.F., Kiszonas, A., Thompson, Y.A., Engle, D. 2021. Sponge cake baking quality – An 18-year retrospective. Cereal Chemistry. 98(3):532-546. https://doi.org/10.1002/cche.10392.
Carter, A.H., Balow, K.A., Shelton, G.B., Burke, A.B., Hagemeyer, K.E., Stowe, A., Worapong, J., Higginbotham, R.W., Chen, X., Engle, D.A., Murray, T.D., Morris, C.F. 2020. Registration of 'Stingray CL+' soft white winter wheat. Journal of Plant Registrations. 15(1):161-171. https://doi.org/10.1002/plr2.20109.
Gill, K.S., Randhawa, H.S., Murphy, K., Carter, A.H., Morris, C.F., Higginbotham, R.W., Engle, D.A., Guy, S.O., Lyon, D.J., Murray, T.D., Chen, X., Schillinger, W.F. 2021. Registration of 'Resilience CL+' soft white winter wheat. Journal of Plant Registrations. 15(1):196-205. https://doi.org/10.1002/plr2.20118.
Morris, C.F., Kiszonas, A., Peden, G.L., Pumphrey, M.O. 2021. Registration of ‘USDA Lori’ soft white spring waxy wheat. Journal of Plant Registrations. 15(1):172-176. https://doi.org/10.1002/plr2.20115.
Price, C., Kiszonas, A.M., Smith, B., Morris, C.F. 2021. Roller milling performance of dry yellow split peas: mill stream composition and functional characteristics. Cereal Chemistry. 98(3):462-473. https://doi.org/10.1002/cche.10385.
Gu, B., Kerr, C.J., Morris, C.F., Ganjayl, G. 2021. Soft durum wheat as a potential ingredient for direct expanded extruded products. Journal of Cereal Science. 98. Article 103184. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcs.2021.103184.
Morris, C.F., Luna, J., Caffe-Treml, M. 2021. The Vromindolines of cv. Hayden oat (Avena sativa L.) – A review of the Poeae and Triticeae Indolines and a suggested system for harmonization of nomenclature. Journal of Cereal Science. 97. Article 103135. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcs.2020.103135.
Talukdar, P.K., Turner, K.L., Lu, X., Morris, C.F., Konkel, M.E. 2021. Inhibitory effect of puroindoline peptides on Campylobacter jejuni growth and biofilm formation.. Frontiers in Microbiology. 12. Article 702762. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.702762.
Morris, C.F., Engle, D.A., Kiszonas, A.M. 2020. Breeding, selection, and quality characteristics of soft white wheat. Cereal Foods World. 65(5). https://doi.org/10.1094/CFW-65-5-0053.
Thompson, Y.A., Carter, A.H., Walker, B., Kiszonas, A., Morris, C.F. 2021. Association mapping of sponge cake volume in PNW elite soft white wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Journal of Cereal Science. 100. Article 103250. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcs.2021.103250.