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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lincoln, Nebraska » Wheat, Sorghum and Forage Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #339954

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Winter Wheat for End-Use Quality and Disease Resistance

Location: Wheat, Sorghum and Forage Research

Title: Release of 19 waxy winter wheat germplasm, with observations on their grain yield stability

Author
item Graybosch, Robert
item Baenziger, Stephen - University Of Nebraska
item Bowden, Robert - Bob
item Dowell, Floyd
item Dykes, Linda
item Jin, Yue
item Marshall, David
item Ohm, Jae-bom
item Caffe-treml, Melanie - South Dakota State University

Submitted to: Journal of Plant Registrations
Publication Type: Germplasm Registration
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/20/2017
Publication Date: 9/14/2017
Citation: Graybosch, R.A., Baenziger, S.P., Bowden, R.L., Dowell, F.E., Dykes, L., Jin, Y., Marshall, D.S., Ohm, J., Caffe-Treml, M. 2017. Release of 19 waxy winter wheat germplasm, with observations on their grain yield stability. Journal of Plant Registrations. 12(1):152-156. https://doi.org/10.3198/jpr2017.03.001crg.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3198/jpr2017.03.001crg

Interpretive Summary: Starch is the most abundant component of wheat grain, and provides a good portion of the calories consumed by man and his domestic animal friends. Starch is a complex polymer, formed of many thousands of glucose units linked in either branched or straight chains. The straight chains are termed amylose, and the branched chains designated amylopectin. Waxy wheats, known to science only since 1995, lack amylose. Waxy wheat starches and flours have unique cooking properties and applications. Addition of small amounts of waxy flour can improve shelf-life of baked goods, and waxy wheat starch serves as an efficient substrate for the production of modified food products. Few waxy cultivars are available for production, and there is a noted lack of genetic diversity available to wheat breeding programs to develop additional ones. To alleviate this deficit, the United States Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the University of Nebraska, developed and released nineteen waxy winter wheats adapted to Great Plains production zones. The highest yielding lines of this lot were equal in production potential to the highest yielding traditional cultivars. Thus, there is no “yield drag” associated with the presence of waxy wheat starch, and farmers producing waxy cultivars can expect grain yields similar to those of typical wheats.

Technical Abstract: “Waxy” wheats (Triticum aestivum L.) produce endosperm starch devoid, or nearly so, of amylose. Waxy starch consists only of amylopectin, imparts unique cooking properties, and serves as an efficient substrate for the production of modified food starches. To expand the genetic variation of waxy wheats useful to Great Plains breeding programs, the USDA-ARS, in cooperation with the University of Nebraska, developed and released 19 waxy winter wheats (Reg. No. GP-1003, PI 677864 to Reg. No. GO-1021, PI 677882) . Three of the waxy germplasm lines have soft endosperm texture; the remaining 16 lines have hard-textured grain. The grain yields of six of the waxy winter wheat germplasm lines were not significantly different from the highest yielding nonwaxy cultivar (‘Freeman’). All but four waxy germplasm lines had grain yields statistically equal to that of the waxy winter wheat cultivar Mattern. Grain yield stability (or response to changing environments) of the waxy germplasm lines demonstrated similar trends to those of the nonwaxy controls. Grain yield observations and responses to changing production potentials argue against any yield drag associated with waxy starch and indicate potential for the development of additional and competitive cultivars.