Genetic control of wheat quality: interactions between chromosomal regions determining protein content and composition, dough rheology, and sponge and dough baking properties
While the genetic control of wheat processing characteristics such as dough rheology is well understood, limited information is available concerning the genetic control of baking parameters, particularly sponge and dough (S&D) baking. In this study, a quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis was performed using a population of doubled haploid lines derived from a cross between Australian cultivars Kukri × Janz grown at sites across different Australian wheat production zones (Queensland in 2001 and 2002 and Southern and Northern New South Wales in 2003) in order to examine the genetic control of protein content, protein expression, dough rheology and sponge and dough baking performance. The study highlighted the inconsistent genetic control of protein content across the test sites, with only two loci (3A and 7A) showing QTL at three of the five sites. Dough rheology QTL were highly consistent across the 5 sites, with major effects associated with the Glu-B1 and Glu-D1 loci. The Glu-D1 5 + 10 allele had consistent effects on S&D properties across sites; however, there was no evidence for a positive effect of the high dough strength Glu-B1-al allele at Glu-B1. A second locus on 5D had positive effects on S&D baking at three of five sites. This study demonstrated that dough rheology measurements were poor predictors of S&D quality. In the absence of robust predictive tests, high heritability values for S&D demonstrate that direct selection is the current best option for achieving genetic gain in this product category.