Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Wheat breeding
GROUND COVER WHEAT BREEDING GENE DISCOVERY 6 WHEAT FLOUR CONTAINS unique proteins that form a gluten complex, which provides the basis of the bread-making properties of the flour. The gluten proteins are also intimately involved in controlling the properties of flour for use in noodle production. In wheat breeding, grain yield per hectare is a key driver in all breeding programs. Generally, as yield is increased this tends to reduce protein content; when combined with low fertiliser nitrogen input, poorer grain quality for a range of end products is the result. Although much is still unknown about which flour proteins are important for specific end products, it is clear that 50 to 60 per cent of the variation is accounted for by well-defined proteins in the gluten complex. These proteins are called high and low molecular weight glutenin (HMWG and LMWG) subunit proteins. The genes for these proteins have been sequenced and the proteins have been well studied. Now a GRDC project based at Murdoch University, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA), is establishing high-throughput processes (mass spectroscopic technology) to provide analyses of the HMWG and LMWG proteins. Such early screening in breeding programs will help direct selection for certain quality attributes. Certain genetic variants of the HMWG and LMWG proteins are clearly more suitable for Boosting wheat protein A new rapid-screening technique for proteins of specific molecular weights is being developed By Rudi Appels certain end products, such as bread making. The early identification of these protein types would reduce the risk of major problems with quality attributes arising, while selecting for higher yield remains the main focus. High-performance computing at Murdoch University's Centre for Comparative Genomics is being incorporated into the workflow in order to increase the throughput and speed of the analysis processes. The project also collaborates closely with researchers at CSIRO Plant Industry and the Food Futures Flagship. The HMWG and LMWG proteins comprise 30 to 40 per cent of the protein in seed, and there is an interest in utilising the high-throughput analytical technology (both the protein analyses as well as the gene sequence analyses) to identify new parental lines for breeding programs. These parent lines would have 40 to 60 per cent of the seed protein as HMWG and LMWG proteins. The concept is to maintain end-product quality, even if the protein level drops under certain conditions. Researchers are also interested in accounting for the remaining 40 to 50 per cent of variation in quality attributes, which are not accounted for by variation in HMWG and LMWG proteins, in order to identify specific components that may require adjustments. The processes used for genetically changing the wheat lines include both GM and non-GM approaches. □ Wheat with protein suited to high- quality dough products is the ultimate aim of a new rapid-screening test for wheat protein. GRDC Research Code UMU00028 More information: Professor Rudi Appels, Murdoch University, 08 9360 6088, firstname.lastname@example.org CERTAIN PROTEINS ARE MORE SUITED TO CERTAIN END PRODUCTS.
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