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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Biochemical and Physical Characterization of Hard Winter Wheat Quality for End-Use Quality

Location: Grain Quality and Structure Research Unit

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Over the next 5 years, the following specific objectives will be addressed: Objective 1: Determine the biochemical and macro-molecular properties of hard winter wheat protein and starch responsible for end-use quality. • Sub-objective 1A: Correlate the physicochemical properties of hard winter wheat starch to end-use quality. • Sub-objective 1B: Determine the physicochemical properties of hard winter wheat proteins responsible for end-use quality. Objective 2: Identify specific genes and glutenin alleles associated with superior hard winter wheat quality and end-use functionality, in cooperation with wheat breeders and geneticists. • Sub-objective 2A: Evaluate the effects of glutenin allelic variation on dough mixing, bread-making and other properties in U.S. hard winter wheat. • Sub-objective 2B: Identify candidate genes, alleles or allelic combinations (with emphasis on gliadins) responsible for end-use functionality of U.S. hard winter wheat. Objective 3: The USDA-ARS Hard Winter Wheat Quality Laboratory (HWWQL) will define, evaluate, and screen the intrinsic end-use quality of hard winter wheat progenies in the Great Plains growing region to enhance germplasm and cultivar development. • Sub-objective 3A: Evaluate and screen the quality attributes of hard winter wheat experimental breeding lines and improve quality of existing hard winter wheat cultivars for end-product quality of world’s wheat-based staples, such as bread (whole wheat), tortillas, noodles and other products desired by customer markets. • Sub-objective 3B: Coordinate and conduct essential hard winter wheat projects of national importance, such as Wheat Quality Council (WQC), Overseas Varietal Analysis (OVA) and Regional Performance Nursery (RPN) for improvement of U.S wheat quality.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
This project will involve a multidisciplinary approach to identify the physical and biochemical components of hard winter wheat that contribute to functionality, with the goal of identifying specific wheat proteins and starches with unique characteristics and functional interactions. Utilizing the Hard Winter Wheat Quality Laboratory (HWWQL) relational database the importance of candidate genes and loci on quality parameters will be investigated and allelic combinations will be correlated to end-use functionality (e.g. dough mixing, bread making and other properties) of hard winter wheat. In addition we will evaluate the intrinsic end-use quality of hard winter wheat progenies for wheat breeding programs in the hard winter wheat Great Plains growing area. Wheat attributes desired by both domestic and international customers will be determined using rapid and objective methods for estimating/predicting textural and quality differences from: (a) small samples (< 10 g) in early generation hard winter wheat breeding lines to promote efficient selection of hard winter wheat lines for needed-quality bases, which would result in the possibility of shortening the breeding program by 1-2 years without sacrificing intrinsic quality evaluation efforts; and (b) from commercial hard winter wheats to enhance the marketing system based on intrinsic quality and determine and evaluate quality parameters directed toward uses of hard winter wheats in non-bread products such as tortillas and Asian noodles, to promote U.S. hard winter wheats in the domestic and export markets.


3.Progress Report:
The molecular weight distribution and fine structure of starch can play a critical role in functionality. While our initial intent was to utilize HPLC-MALS in the determination of AM:AP we determined it was far too time consuming and the solubilization of the polymers was inconsistent, giving poor reproducibility. We also determined that molecular weight distribution (MWD), radius of gyration (RG) and polydispersity (PD) varies from wheat line and may be affected by environmental differences. Consequently we are incorporating this information (MWD, RG and PD) into our statistical models regarding AM:AP, starch size distribution, protein content, environmental variables and bread quality. This will provide a more complete picture of just what wheat quality is and the variables affecting it.

Researchers at the Manhattan, KS ARS facility developed prediction measures for determining quality factors in wheat tortillas using kernel, flour and dough properties. To assist the ARS researchers in determining factors responsible for tortilla quality, Chopin Technologies (Villeneuve-al-Garenne, France) provided for one year the use of their Mixolab instrument. The researchers evaluated 61 wheat samples and determined that 61-71% of the tortilla diameter can be explained by the protein properties during mixing. The processing information will assist wheat breeders in selecting wheat varieties for tortilla quality.

The Hard Winter Wheat Quality Laboratory (HWWQL) provides critical information to the plant breeding community, domestic and international markets on an annual basis. End-use quality evaluation of experimental wheat lines in the 2012 federally managed Regional Performance Nurseries, as well as evaluation of advanced lines submitted to the Wheat Quality Council, are service/research activities critical to the continued success of the HWW industry. Over 2000 wheat samples are tested on an annual basis, with over 40 quality characteristics reported for each sample submitted. Real-time wheat quality data was also provided to Plains Grains Inc. during the 2013 harvest and updated weekly online for potential buyers. Over 600 wheat samples are tested on an annual basis.


4.Accomplishments
1. Development of a rapid high throughput test to measure starch ratios in wheat. Starch structure is an important property for end use functionality in food products. Few tests exist that enable researchers to screen large populations of starch for changes in composition, either due to genetic or environmental variability. Researchers at the ARS facility in Manhattan, KS developed a faster test that uses changes in color (spectrophotometric) of the solution. We have used this test to study starch composition in five hard winter wheat varieties, grown in three locations over three years, under dry and irrigated conditions. The starch within the different wheat cultivars was dependent on environment in which they were grown. The information can be used by wheat breeders in developing wheat cultivars that offer good starch compositions but also can be grown under a range of environmental conditions.


Review Publications
Graybosch, R.A., Seabourn, B.W., Chen, Y.R., Blechl, A.E. 2013. Effects of transgene-encoded high-molecular weight glutenin proteins in wheat flour blends and sponge and dough baking. Cereal Chemistry. 90(02): 164-168.

Seabourn, B.W., Xiao, Z.S., Tilley, M., Herald, T.J. and Park, S. 2012. A rapid, small-scale sedimentation method to predict breadmaking quality of hard winter wheat. Crop Science. 52(3):1306-1315.

Selling, G.W., Maness, A.N., Bean, S., Smith, B.M. 2013. Impact of thiocyanate salts on zein properties. Cereal Chemistry. 90(3):204-210.

Tilley, M., Miller, R.A., Chen, Y.R. 2012. Wheat breeding and quality evaluation in the U.S. In: Cauvain, S. editor. Breadmaking: Improving Quality. 2nd edition. BakeTran, UK: Woodhead Publishing Limited Book. p. 216-236.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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