yield and quality traits

Amylose (resistant starch) content

Contributed by Wenjun Zhang and Jorge Dubcovsky

Financial support for marker and germplasm development: FFAR grant CA19-SS-0000000045  

Polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity

Submitted by: Adam Heesacker. Co-Authors: Dr. Robert Zemetra and Hilary Gunn

PPO Null Markers

Polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity is a main factor in the darkening of unfermented wheat flour dough.  The presence of active PPO leads to the discoloration through the formation of o-quinones (1,2), causing the formation of dark pigments and ultimately leading to perceived quality loss.

Gluten strength

Contributed by Laura Pfluger (pfluger.laura@inta.gob.ar)

The quality of wheat flour for bread making depends on the viscoelastic properties of the dough, which are influenced by the quantity and quality of the gluten-forming storage proteins of the endosperm.

Grain texture

Contributed by Gabriela Tranquilli (tranquilli.gabriela@inta.gob.ar)

Wheat marketing systems established a primary classification of hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) based on endosperm texture, i.e. the hardness or softness of the grain, because this trait determines many of its potential end-uses. Hard textured grains require more grinding energy than soft textured grains to reduce endosperm into flour, and during this milling process a larger number of starch granules become physically damaged.

Starch properties. Waxy mutants

One of the main components of wheat flour is starch, its relative content and chemical composition affect the quality of the products obtained from wheat.

Starch is a glucose polymer composed of two different types of structures: amylose and amylopectin. Amylose is a linear polymer with D-glucosyl units linked by α 1-4 bonds. Amylopectin has a branched structure: it also has α 1-4 bonds but every 20-25 glucosyl there are ramifications due to α 1-6 bonds.

WAPO1. A candidate gene for spikelet number per spike

Achieving higher grain yields is a difficult task due to the number of genes involved, their interactions and the importance of environmental effects. This complexity determines that taken as a single trait, yield shows low heritability. Instead of improving overall yields, a more effective strategy is to focus on yield components, such as grain weight, spikes per unit area, grain number per spikelet and spikelet number per spike (SNS). Among these, SNS is an attractive trait for wheat breeders because it shows a higher heritability compared to the other yield components.