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Title: A comprehensive survey of soft wheat grain quality in United States germplasm

item KISZONAS, ALECIA - Washington State University
item FUERST, E - Washington State University
item Morris, Craig

Submitted to: Cereal Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/27/2012
Publication Date: 1/9/2013
Citation: Kiszonas, A.M., Fuerst, E.P., Morris, C.F. 2013. A comprehensive survey of soft wheat grain quality in United States germplasm. Cereal Chemistry. 90:47-57.

Interpretive Summary: Since the start of agriculture, Man has strived to improve crops. For wheat, this activity accelerated with the adoption of cross breeding near the end of the 19th century. Today, wheat breeders generally begin strategies for end-use quality with parent selection and then evaluating progeny in any generation from the F2 onwards. Most end-use quality testing and selection begin in earnest in the F5 or F6 generation, and then continues for 4-6 years through the cultivar release process. In the United States, the most advanced-generation testing employs regional cooperative nurseries. These nurseries are market class and region specific, and are amalgamations of advanced lines from all cooperating breeders. Nurseries are grown at multiple locations and grain from one or more may be evaluated for end-use quality. Wheat quality may be sub-divided into three main categories: grain, milling, and baking quality. Individual traits must be considered in the context of the desired end-use function of the grain and flour. Wheat varieties have been well-documented to exhibit genetic differences in physical, biochemical, and end-use quality. While these three main categories of wheat quality may be assessed separately, there are potential opportunities for predictive relationships and correlations between the components of each. The overall conclusion of this study is that wheat grown in different regions exhibit markedly different properties and interactions to produce the overall quality composition of a wheat sample.

Technical Abstract: Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) quality is dependent upon both genetic and environmental factors, which work in combination to produce specific grain, milling, and baking characteristics. Along with these genetic and environmental factors, the adaptation of the genetics to the given growing environment can also play a role in the consequential end-use quality. Because of the many variables impacting wheat quality, it is critical to assess many varieties grown in multiple environments to better conceptualize wheat quality across the United States. The objective of this work was to survey many soft wheat varieties (132) grown in four distinct nurseries, representing nine growing locations. The quality parameters surveyed included factors such as kernel hardness, wheat and flour protein, flour and break flour yield, solvent retention capacity (SRC) assessment, and evaluation of cookie diameter. High levels of variation were observed between the strength of varietal and location difference contributions across the four nurseries. Variety was observed to have a stronger influence on wheat quality in the western nurseries, whereas in the central and eastern regions, location effects had a stronger impact on overall wheat quality. Several varieties in each nursery were identified as displaying exceptional characteristics, very good and very poor, which appeared to contribute to large or small cookie diameter, respectively. In this way, several patterns of quality relationships were identified in each nursery. These quality relationships, however, were observed to be unique to the specific nursery in which they were studied—the relationships did not correlate well between nurseries. Because of these inherent differences in varietal and location influences, and varying relationships between end-use quality parameters between nurseries, and essentially growing regions of the United States, it is imperative to take into consideration the specific growing environment of varieties when assessing them for end-use quality.