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Research Project: Characterization of Quality and Marketability of Western U.S. Wheat Genotypes and Phenotypes

Location: Wheat Health, Genetics, and Quality Research

Title: Sponge cake baking quality – An 18-year retrospective

item Morris, Craig
item KISZONAS, ALECIA - Washington State University
item Thompson, Yvonne
item ENGLE, DOUGLAS - Washington State University

Submitted to: Cereal Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/14/2020
Publication Date: 5/10/2021
Publication URL:
Citation: Morris, C.F., Kiszonas, A., Thompson, Y.A., Engle, D. 2021. Sponge cake baking quality – An 18-year retrospective. Cereal Chemistry. 98(3):532-546.

Interpretive Summary: In contrast to the importance that sponge cake baking quality has on U.S PNW soft white wheat, and the considerable resources devoted to the breeding and selection of soft white germplasm, little is known about the genetics that confer superior cake quality. This situation likely stems from 1) the high resource cost of obtaining cake phenotypes –in this case cake volume, and 2) the lack of next-generation sequencing (NGS) applied to appropriate germplasm. The present study obviated the first limitation by data mining an existing set of soft white winter club and common wheat varieties that had pre-existing cake volumes. These data spanned 18 crop years and were curated into 48 fully balances datasets. The second limitation, high coverage genomic data via NGS technology, has been applied to the genetic dissection of other end-use quality traits of soft white wheat on a limited basis.

Technical Abstract: Background and objective: Sponge cake volume is an essential end-use quality trait for U.S. Pacific Northwest (PNW) soft white wheat. The present study examined sponge cake quality of commercial soft white winter wheat varieties and experimental breeding lines from 48 retrospective balanced datasets spanning 18 years. Findings: Half of the datasets returned significant whole model and variety ANOVA F-values, compared to 35 with significant whole model and environment F-values, indicating that environment was in general the greater source of variation. However, coefficients of variation ranged from 0.4 to 7% (mean 3.1%) suggesting that in those datasets with non-significant variety F-values, no substantive genetic variation was present (as opposed to high error variance). Broad sense heritability (h2) ranged from zero to 0.96; with single variety heritability of 0.75-0.92. Datasets with only two environments rarely returned significant whole model F-values, and never significant genotype F-values, whereas in nearly all (25 out of 27) datasets that involved five or more environments, the whole model F-value was significant. Nevertheless, significant whole models did not always delineate genotypes. Ranked from largest to smallest cake were commercial varieties ARS-Crescent, Rely, Edwin, Chukar, Cara, Bruehl, Hiller, ARS-Chrystal, Coda, and Stephens. All of these but Stephens are Club wheats. In general, infrequently were significant differences detected amongst these commercial varieties. More recently-release Club wheat varieties ARS-Crescent, Castella and Pritchett appear to have marginally better sponge cake quality. Conclusions: In terms of sponge cake volume, U.S. PNW soft white winter wheat varieties, especially club wheats varieties, are genetically similar and consistent. ANOVA indicated that varieties need to be grown in more than ~ 5 environments to detect small genotype differences. Significance and novelty: Sponge cake quality has remained remarkably consistent amongst commercial soft white winter wheat varieties over 18 years of breeding and selection. The results indicate this consistency may be due to effective testing and selection, a narrow genetic germplasm base, or a combination thereof.