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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » WHGQ » Research » Research Project #442083

Research Project: Development of an Immunoassay for Wheat Alpha-amylase

Location: Wheat Health, Genetics, and Quality Research

Project Number: 2090-21000-039-006-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2022
End Date: May 31, 2027

The goal of this collaboration is to develop superior immunoassays to detect problems with elevated alpha-amylase in wheat grain resulting from preharvest sprouting (PHS) or late-maturity alpha-amylase (LMA). The wheat industry currently uses the Hagberg-Perten Falling Number (FN) method developed in the 1960s for this purpose. The objective of this agreement is to develop modern alpha-amylase immunoassays, both lateral flow and 96-well ELISA assays, as a faster and more accessible tool for estimating wheat grain falling number. These immunoassays are being developed to accelerate breeding for resistance to low falling number and to preserve value by preventing contamination of high falling number grain with low falling number grain at all stages of the wheat industry.

1. Develop rapid, accurate lateral flow immunoassays to accurately measure alpha-amylase levels and to estimate FN using calibrated and highly sensitive immunoassay and validate its utility in determining FN in wheat representing all market classes grown in the USA. The goal is to develop assays that will be made commercially available to the wheat industry through collaboration with EnviroLogix, Inc. 2. Identify alpha-amylases or other proteins expressed during PHS and LMA as potential targets for future and ongoing immunoassay development. 3. Develop cost-effective 96-well enzyme-linked immunoassays (ELISAs) to select high FN varieties with LMA and PHS resistance within wheat breeding programs. 4. Teach members of the wheat industry how to use immunoassays to determine falling number