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Title: Comparison of selection methods for the development of white-seeded lines from red x white soft winter wheat crosses

item KNOTT, C
item Souza, Edward

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/28/2008
Publication Date: 3/31/2008
Citation: Knott, C.A., Van Sanford, D.A., Souza, E.J. 2008. Comparison of selection methods for the development of white-seeded lines from red x white soft winter wheat crosses. Crop Science. 48:1807-1816.

Interpretive Summary: Breeding white seeded wheat cultivars in areas where red seeded cultivars have been traditionally used may require new breeding methods. It also requires measuring the risks of switching seed color. This study showed that a variety of breeding methods produced satisfactory results. It also showed that the white seeded cultivars are at greater risk for crop damage due to Fusarium head blight (FHB) and pre-harvest sprouting. The pre-harvest sprouting risk of white wheat has long been known. The increased risk of FHB damage has been a subject of speculation but rarely studied. We conclude that the risk of FHB damage in white wheats is directly related to the absence of tannin pigmentations in white wheat. Other researchers have shown that similar compounds have anti-fungal activity.

Technical Abstract: Interest in breeding soft white winter (SWW) wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars in areas that have traditionally grown only soft red winter (SRW) wheat has increased in recent years. To efficiently generate and develop white wheat segregates from red wheat breeding programs, certain breeding decisions must be made. The objectives of this study were to determine: (i) whether agronomic or milling and baking differences exist between red and white progeny derived from the same population and (ii) the generation in which selection of superior white segregates should be carried out. Red and white progeny from 11 populations were used to determine the effect of seed coat color on agronomic, disease and milling and baking quality traits. Significant (P<0.05) seed coat color differences were identified for deoxynivalenol (DON) accumulation and yield. In the presence of intense Fusarium head blight (FHB) pressure, white progeny accumulated significantly higher levels of DON than red progeny. In the white progeny grain yield was significantly (P<0.05) lower than that of the red progeny in two of five environments. Three populations were studied in detail to determine the generation in which selection of superior white lines should occur. Significant (P<0.05) differences were identified for yield and test weight between early generation bulk selection (early-bulk) and late generation single seed descent selection (SSD). Although significant (P<0.05) differences between the breeding methods were not identified when selection criteria were established to identify superior white lines, SSD produced numerically more superior white lines (14%) than the early-bulk (10%).