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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » WHGQ » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #388741

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Wheat and Barley for Environmental Resilience, Disease Resistance, and End-use Quality

Location: Wheat Health, Genetics, and Quality Research

Title: Club wheat, A review of history, improvement, and spike characteristics in wheat.

Author
item Garland-Campbell, Kimberly

Submitted to: Plant Breeding Reviews
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/30/2022
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Specific spike characteristics have been selected during the thousands of years of wheat cultivation. Club wheat (Triticum aestivum subsp. compactum) has been cultivated along with other hexaploid wheats since the late neolithic era. Current commercial production is only in the Pacific Northwest of the United States where it is a high value export crop that is prized for its milling and baking characteristics that make it best suited to fine textured cakes and confectionery products. This review discusses the history, quality, and improvement of club wheat and focuses on spike characteristics in wheat as a base for future scientific research.

Technical Abstract: Spike characteristics are the primary method influencing the number of seeds, seed dispersal, and the shape and weight of seeds in plants. In spite of the importance of spike architecture in wheat, specific genes controlling variation have not been widely studied. Club wheat (Triticum aestivum subsp. compactum) has been cultivated along with other hexaploid wheats since the late neolithic era. Club wheat is named for its characteristic elliptical spike caused by shortened rachis internodes which compress spikes closely together and cause the spike to twist at maturity. Club wheat is prized for its milling and baking characteristics that make it best suited to fine textured cakes and confectionery products. The primary genetic control of the compact spike is the C gene on chromosome 2D. This review investigates the history, quality, and agronomic characteristics of club wheat and their improvement through plant breeding. The available literature on the genetic control of spike characteristics in Triticum is discussed as a base for future research.