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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GENETIC AND BIOCHEMICAL BASIS OF SOFT WINTER WHEAT QUALITY

Location: Corn, Soybean and Wheat Quality Research Unit

Title: Basis for selecting soft wheat for end-use quality

Authors
item Souza, Edward
item Sneller, Clay
item Guttieri, Mary
item Sturbaum, Anne
item Griffey, Carl
item Sorrells, Mark
item Ohme, Herbert
item Van Sanford, David

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 16, 2011
Publication Date: July 29, 2011
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/54057
Citation: Souza, E.J., Sneller, C., Guttieri, M.J., Sturbaum, A.K., Griffey, C., Sorrells, M., Ohme, H., Van Sanford, D. 2011. Basis for selecting soft wheat for end-use quality. Crop Science. 51(4):1424.

Interpretive Summary: Soft wheat milling and baking quality is affected by the genetics of a variety and the environment in which the variety is grown. This study confirms that the majority of the variation in quality is due to predictable factors such as variety selection. Varieties of wheat grown by farmers in different eras beginning in 1801 to 2005 were compared for milling and baking quality. For most measures of quality, small improvements were made during the 200 years of breeding. The speed of improvement, though, has increased since 1970. These conclusions are consistent with wheat quality selection being important to most breeding programs and that wheat quality is affected primarily by genetics. Breeding programs can and do select for improved quality that results in greater flour production per bushel of wheat milled and lower energy of baking due to reduced water absorption of the flour. Both these results improve the competitiveness of US milling and baking industry and lower food costs for consumers.

Technical Abstract: Within the United States, end-use quality of soft wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is determined by several genetically controlled components: milling yield, flour particle size, and baking characteristics related to flour water absorption caused by glutenin macropolymer, non-starch polysaccharides, and starch damaged by milling. In 2007-2008, we measured the soft wheat quality of 187 soft winter wheat cultivars, released from 1801 to 2005, for the eastern United States germplasm pool. Wheat cultivars were grown in nine eastern United States environments. Quality traits included test weight, flour yield, softness equivalent (an estimator of break flour yield), flour protein concentration, solvent retention capacity (SRC) of flour, and sugar snap cookie quality. All of the traits had large components of variance due to genotype. Flour milling characteristics had the largest ratio of genotype to genotype x environment interaction variance. Based on multivariate analysis of the trait correlation structure, breeders should focus on milling yield, flour softness equivalent, and sucrose SRC. These traits predict long-flow flour milling performance and have value for commercial milling and baking. These traits also have large genetic variance relative to genotype x environment interactions, are favorably correlated to each other, yet represent distinct aspects of milling and flour quality. Although some improvement in soft wheat milling and baking quality has been observed over the past 200 years, the dominant effect of selection appears to be a stable standard of quality that is associated with the soft wheat classes of the eastern United States.

Last Modified: 11/25/2014
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