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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » WHGQ » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #328391

Research Project: Wheat Quality, Functionality and Marketablility in the Western U.S.

Location: Wheat Health, Genetics, and Quality Research

Title: Genetic markers of wheat (Triticum aestivum) associated with flavor preference using a mouse (Mus musculus) model

item Kiszonas, Alecia
item Morris, Craig

Submitted to: American Association of Cereal Chemists Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/8/2016
Publication Date: 10/24/2016
Citation: Kiszonas, A., Morris, C.F. 2016. Genetic markers of wheat (Triticum aestivum) associated with flavor preference using a mouse (Mus musculus) model. American Association of Cereal Chemists Meetings.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Whole wheat products provide critical nutrients for human health, differences in wheat flavor are not well understood. Using the house mouse as a model system, flavor preference and discrimination were examined using a two-choice feeding system and 24-h trials and the Student’s t statistic. To eliminate the confounding effects of processing, whole wheat grain was used. Additionally, the Student’s t statistic used previously identified “Yummy” and “yucky” check varieties. The study took the Student’s t statistic beyond a theoretical measure of flavor preference to use as a phenotype in genetic mapping study. The Clark’s Cream x NY6432 RIL population was created in the early 1990s to study pre-harvest sprout and has been mapped and examined extensively. Both varieties are white wheats; Clark’s Cream has a hard kernel texture, and NY6432 has a soft kernel texture. The “Yummy” check variety was a soft white wheat, the “yucky” check variety was a hard white wheat. A new genetic linkage map was created for the Clark’s Cream x NY6432 population. Marker-trait association was performed using the Student’s t phenotype from each “check” variety. Twenty-two significant marker-trait associations were found among the two check comparisons. Because mice typically prefer soft kernel texture over hard, the effect of both the Puroindoline haplotype and the phenotypic expression of kernel texture were used as covariates in further marker-trait association analyses. Twenty-eight markers exhibited significant associations with the Student’s t statistics in the two covariate analyses, with an additional five having significant associations in both the Puroindoline covariate and kernel texture covariate. These five markers show that there is a definitive genetic basis for flavor preference beyond kernel texture. These markers open the door for closer examination of specific genetic regions where the “Yummy” and “yucky” genes are likely to reside. Identifying the flavor genes will allow the development of varieties with more palatability for whole-wheat products.