Direct Assessment of Novel Glutenin Alleles in Aegilops tauschii
For milling and baking quality of raised breads there are important genetic determinants including strong effects from the glutenin genes. Being situated on different genomes, the various alleles of high-molecular weight and low-molecular weight glutenins represent inherited diversity from different wheat ancestors. Though the diversity of glutenin alleles in wheat wild relatives is known to be large (Kumar et al. 2019), there has been limited testing of these novel alleles in elite breeding materials and there remains limited diversity within wheat breeding programs for potentially better alleles. For example, the important Glu-D1 has few alleles that make up a majority of all wheat varieties (Shan et al. 2007), with known large differences in mixing and baking quality differences between the alleles. However, potentially better alleles could be sourced from wheat wild relatives such as from the D genome wild relative Aegilops tauschii for the Glu-D1 genes.
The WGRC has identified and formed core collections of various wild wheat species and is simultaneously forming large populations of synthetic hexploids and introgression derivatives of these core accessions. To fully capture and assess the potential of novel glutenin alleles in these materials, the alleles must first be identified, tagged with molecular markers and prioritized for targeted introgression followed by isoline testing with complete milling and baking.