Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #231389

Title: Genetic Variation and the Effectiveness of Early Generation Selection

item Souza, Edward

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/25/2008
Publication Date: 1/1/2009
Citation: Knott, C.A., Van Sanford, D., Souza, E.J. 2009. Genetic Variation and the Effectiveness of Early Generation Selection. Crop Science. 49:113-119.

Interpretive Summary: Wheat breeding efficiency is improved by having faster, cheaper tests that accurately predict milling and baking quality. In this manuscript we propose, test, and confirm the efficacy of prediction methods for milling yield and flour gluten strength in wheat that do not require the intermediate step of flour milling. As a result small quantities of whole grain can be quickly processed to determine quality. This is an appropriate test for breeding programs to use ‘in-house’ to improve milling and baking quality through early generation selection.

Technical Abstract: Selection of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) milling and baking quality in single-environment, non-replicated early-generation head-rows would increase the efficiency of most soft winter wheat (SWW) breeding programs. This study (i) estimated the heritability of SWW quality and gluten strength in a cross whose parents differ widely for gluten strength and (ii) evaluated wheat meal assays in early-generation selection for SWW quality and gluten strength. A population from a cross of strong and weak gluten parents was assessed for flour quality and gluten strength using flour and whole grain meal (WM) measures. Agronomic evaluations also were made of the population. Significant (P<0.05) genetic variation was identified for all traits. Significant (P<0.05) correlations were found between WM assays conducted in a non-replicated environment and flour-based assays conducted on replicated trials from two locations. Wheat meal sodium dodecyl sulfate sedimentation volume (WM-SED) was correlated with flour lactic acid solvent retention capacity (SRC; r = 0.37). Wheat meal sodium carbonate SRC was correlated with flour sucrose (r = 0.37), flour sodium carbonate (r = 0.46) and flour water (r = 0.47) SRC and negatively correlated with wire-cut cookie diameter (r = -0.33) and flour yield (r = -0.40). Soft winter wheat quality and gluten strength were improved when selections were based upon WM sodium carbonate SRC and WM SED, respectively. Early-generation selection for SWW quality and gluten strength using WM test should increase the frequency of desirable quality SWW selections reaching yield trial stages.