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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #357889

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Biotic and Abiotic Stress Tolerance and Nutritional Quality in Hard Winter Wheat

Location: Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research

Title: Cadmium concentration in terminal tissues as tools to select low-cadmium wheat genotypes

item LIU, CAIXIA - University Of Nebraska
item Guttieri, Mary
item WATER, BRIAN - University Of Nebraska
item ESKRIDGE, KENT - University Of Nebraska
item EASTERLY, AMANDA - University Of Nebraska
item BAENZIGER, P. STEPHEN - University Of Nebraska

Submitted to: Plant and Soil
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/11/2018
Publication Date: 6/22/2018
Citation: Liu, C., Guttieri, M.J., Water, B., Eskridge, K., Easterly, A., Baenziger, P. 2018. Cadmium concentration in terminal tissues as tools to select low-cadmium wheat genotypes. Plant and Soil. 2018. 430:127-138.

Interpretive Summary: Human consumption of cadmium, a heavy metal, can pose a health concern. Bread wheat varies for the propensity to accumulate cadmium in grain. The current approach to breeding low-cadmium wheat is to measure cadmium in grain after harvest. However, more rapid tests are needed. This study tested the utility of measuring cadmium before grain harvest, both in developing seeds and in plant tissues that support seed development. The results of this study indicate that low- and high-cadmium wheat lines can be distinguished by cadmium concentration in developing seed, in the rachis, and in the terminal vegetative node two to four weeks after flowering. The pre-harvest testing in the rachis or terminal vegetative node would reduce reagent costs and better integrate into breeding activities than the standard method of post-harvest grain evaluation.

Technical Abstract: The consumption of cadmium-contaminated food adversely affects human health. Heritable variation for the propensity to accumulate cadmium in the grain exists, but is a difficult selection target, given the practical limitations of breeding operations. The main objective of this study is to assess the feasibility and accuracy of selecting low-cadmium lines during grain filling using cadmium concentration in terminal tissues. Cadmium and other mineral concentrations in terminal tissues of two low- and high-cadmium winter wheat cultivars (Triticum aestivum L.) were measured at 2, 3, 4, and 5 weeks after average anthesis (WAAA) and at maturity in two years. Cadmium concentration in grain at 3 and 4 WAAA, in rachis at 2, 4 and 5 WAAA, and in the terminal vegetative node at 3 and 4 WAAA separated high- and low-cadmium cultivars. Controlling disease with fungicides did not affect the ability to select low cadmium cultivars. Across environments, low-cadmium cultivars had lower concentration of cadmium, but similar concentration of iron and zinc in developing and mature grains, compared to the high-cadmium cultivars. Low-cadmium lines can be selected before harvest using Cd concentration in terminal tissues. It is possible to select low-cadmium lines that are consistently low across environments.