Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #216719

Title: Separating waxy from wild-type kernels using an automated NIR sorting system

item Dowell, Floyd
item Graybosch, Robert
item Delwiche, Stephen - Steve

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2007
Publication Date: 10/7/2007
Citation: Dowell, F.E., Graybosch, R.A., Berzonsky, W.A., Delwiche, S.R. 2007. Separating waxy from wild-type kernels using an automated NIR sorting system. Meeting Abstract.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Waxy (amylose-free) wheat is gaining interest because it converts to ethanol faster than other wheat, is a possible low-fat replacement for vegetable shortening, is used to produce modified food starches, and has unique absorption and pasting characteristics. Several breeding programs are developing waxy lines in an attempt to take advantage of these potential new markets. After crosses between waxy and non-waxy breeding lines, the frequency of waxy progeny may be as low as 1/64. The ability to segregate waxy seed from segregating populations can provide breeding materials enriched in the number of individuals with this desired trait. We have shown that near-infrared spectroscopy can separate the waxy kernels (all null alleles) from partial waxy kernels (at least one null allele and one functional allele) or wild-type kernels (all functional alleles). Our automated system can separate waxy from non-waxy kernels at a rate of about 1 kernel/2 s, which is a rate sufficient to select waxy kernels from breeding lines or to purify contaminated samples. Testing on hundreds of samples over several years shows that waxy kernels can be selected from segregating lines with about 100% accuracy. We have applied this technology to sorting hard red winter, hard red spring, and durum wheat, in addition to sorting waxy proso millet. Prior to our research, the only ways to distinguish between full and partial waxy were iodine staining and the use of molecular markers. These techniques are too slow and tedious for purifying large seed samples, thus our technology offers significant advantages to breeding programs working on the waxy characteristic.