Crop and Pasture Science
Volume 65 Number 1 2014
Durum Wheat for the Future: Challenges, Research and Prospects in the 21st Century
Carotenoids and anthocyanins are the main classes of chemical compounds responsible for the colour of plants, and they have beneficial effects on health. Understanding the genetic and biochemical bases for these compounds is essential to start breeding programs and to develop genotypes with health benefits. The identification of molecular markers associated with the genes responsible for the expression of these characters and the development of high-throughput instrumental methods (NIR, Minolta colourimeter and spectrometry) is a valuable support tool for rapid, effective and low-cost selection processes.
CP13238Breeding progress in the pasta-making quality of durum wheat cultivars released in Italy and Spain during the 20th Century
High grain quality in durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. var durum) is crucial to ensure outstanding end-products. By studying the quality of an historical series of durum wheat cultivars, we demonstrated that the breeding activities conducted in Italy and Spain during the 20th century succeeded in improving quality traits that are critical for the pasta-making industry, such as gluten strength and semolina yellow pigment. These results will help to orient the design of future breeding strategies to boost grain quality.
CP13305Effect of the introduction of D-genome related gluten proteins on durum wheat pasta and bread making quality
Durum wheat is used to make bread in Italy but it falls short of typical common wheat bread quality. A novel plant breeding approach was used to introduce genes into durum that code for proteins important in determining bread quality from common wheat. While we maintained good pasta making quality, the dough was too tough and no improvement in loaf quality was obtained. However, this novel approach represents an efficient tool to finely manipulate gluten quality in durum wheat.
CP13140Isolation and characterisation of cytosolic glutamine synthetase (GSe) genes and association with grain protein content in durum wheat
The manuscript describes the structure and the DNA and encoded protein sequences of the GSe gene in hexaploid and tetraploid durum wheats. This enzyme plays a central role in nitrogen metabolism, especially in assimilating ammonia produced in the leaf from metabolic processes. The main applied interest in this gene is particularly in grain protein content. The genes are mapped using wheat cytogenetic stocks and differential mRNA titers are indicated between durum wheats with high versus low seed protein content.
Pasta wheat is sensible to fungi attack destroying more and more pasta production fields. Disease resistance pasta wheat varieties were the most efficient way to encompass this attack. Our results show new ways to largely improve breeding for fungi resistant pasta wheat.
CP13314Phylogenetic analyses of Fusarium graminearum strains from cereals in Italy, and characterisation of their molecular and chemical chemotypes
The occurrence of toxigenic fungal species of Fusarium genus in cereal crops causes kernel quality reduction due to the accumulation of mycotoxins and is a major concern for food safety. We analyzed phylogeny, mycotoxin genotypes and chemotypes of Fusarium graminearum from Italy assessing the occurrence of three chemotypes with 15ADON genotype prevailing. Knowledge of main genetic traits of F. graminearum from cereals in Italy will help in management of Fusarium Head Blight and developement of breeding strategies for resistance.
Zinc (Zn) deficiency and crown rot disease, caused by Fusarium pseudograminearum, are common in durum wheat. This study has established how five Australian durum varieties respond to Fusarium pseudograminearum and different levels of Zn. The interaction between these two potentially yield-limiting factors was also examined. Although all durum wheat varieties are susceptible, the extent to which they were protected from plant growth penalties due to crown rot by Zn treatment was genotype-dependent.
CP13325Development and validation of molecular markers linked with stem rust resistance gene Sr13 in durum wheat
Pyramiding of two or more stem rust resistance genes in new cultivars is important to achieve durable and cost-effective control of this disease. Molecular markers linked with resistance genes allow plant breeders to select gene combinations through marker assisted selection in the absence of appropriate rust cultures. Markers linked with a widely effective stem rust resistance gene Sr13 were developed and validated for marker assisted pyramiding of this gene with other molecularly tagged stem rust resistance genes.
CP13349QTL dissection of yield components and morpho-physiological traits in a durum wheat elite population tested in contrasting thermo-pluviometric conditions
Durum wheat is cultivated in countries with highly fluctuating water availability and high temperatures. Breeding will greatly benefit from the improved knowledge of its adaptive response to such environments. Here, 76 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were identified for grain yield, yield components and adaptive traits across Mediterranean environments. Two QTLs on chromosomes 2B and 3B showed major effects on all investigated traits and can thus be considered as major determinants of adaptation.
CP13335Targeted exploitation of gene pools of alien Triticeae species for sustainable and multi-faceted improvement of the durum wheat crop
In the breeding perspectives of the new millennium, innovative technologies are required to cope with the many challenges overhanging crop species of paramount importance such as wheat. Exploitation of wild wheat relatives by ‘chromosome engineering’ strategies, assisted by high-resolution methods of analysis and selection, represents an effective way to convey novel, beneficial features to current varieties. Through this approach, alien chromosomal segments containing genes for resistance to diseases, quality attributes, and even yield-related traits, were successfully incorporated into the durum wheat genome, thus contributing to sustainably meet the world requirements for food security.
This work presents a no-GM biotech approach, named TILLING, used to develop a number of durum breeding lines starting from the cv. Svevo, with different characteristics in terms of morphological and agronomics traits. These mutant lines were characterized for end use quality, and several interesting differences were found in terms of kernel shape and size, protein content, yellow index of semolina, and gluten quality. The level of genetic diversity observed permits to present this durum population as an interesting source of variation for direct breeding purposes and for genetic study.