Project: Improvement of Industrial and Nutritional Quality of Wheat

Sub Project: Improvement of processing and nutritional quality of wheat using biochemical/molecular approach

Genesis and rationale of the project:

Wheat is the main source of energy and nutrition in human diet. India is the 2nd largest producer of wheat in the world and has a potential to further increase the productivity and production level to meet the demand of consumers in the country. Large numbers of diverse products as chapati, bread, biscuit, cakes, pretzels, noodles and pasta products are made from wheat and each product has it`s own specific requirements. Therefore, it is needed to develop varieties suitable for each product separately. This requires understanding of biochemical and molecular components related to different end-products. Though now we understand many things about wheat quality, there are still gaps in our knowledge of biochemical and molecular components associated with different quality traits specially nutritional quality. Half of the population in India is facing the problem of micronutrient deficiency. Since wheat is major cereal consumed all over the world, improving its nutritional quality will have big impact on social health. Therefore, main emphasis will be on biochemical and molecular components and to characterize allelic diversity of important genes for processing and nutritional quality and the development of molecular marker linked with nutritional quality traits. This will reduce the gap in our understanding of the biochemical/ molecular basis of quality of these products as well as nutritional quality. The knowledge ultimately will lead to the improvement of wheat for various products and prepare ourselves for competing in domestic and international market of wheat and benefiting the farmers, consumers and the industry. Keeping in view the above facts in mind following objectives have been identified.

Immediate Objectives

  1. Characterization and introduction of genes associated with quality traits including double null trait in Nap Hal into good agronomic backgrounds.
  1. Identification and use of molecular markers associated with high phytase levels in wheat
  2. Identification of molecular markers associated with genes/QTLS for high Fe and Zn content.
  3. Improvement of Fe and Zn content in wheat using Gpc-B1 gene
  4. Identification of genotypes with less celiac toxic epitopes

Long-term objectives

  1. Characterization of biochemical and molecular components associated with quality of different end-use products and nutritional quality traits.
  2. Development of wheat varieties suitable for different end-use products with improved nutritional quality characteristics.

Major Achievements of the program

  • Characterization and introduction of genes associated with quality traits into good agronomic backgrounds.Capture
  • Molecular markers and microlevel tests were used to transfer Glu-D1 double nul in Nap Hal, l of NAP HAL, an Indian land race of wheat into high yielding backgrounds of wheat such as PBW 373, UP 2425, Raj3765, DPW50, HD2967 for the improvement of biscuit making quality. The materials are at different back cross stages such as BC3F6, BC2F4 and BC3F3. The selected backcross lines (BC3F4) were also used in crossing with high yielding varieties such as DPW621-50 and HD2967 using molecular markers.
  • Allelic classification of HMW and LMW glutenin subunits in Indian wheat varieties was accomplished using both SDA-PAGE and PCR based markers and allelic combinations suitable for bread, biscuit and chapati making were identified and are being used in breeding for improving end product quality. Developed functional marker for Glu-B3b allele of LMW glutenins in wheat by cloning and sequencing techniques very useful for improving gluten strength suitable for bread making.Capture
  • Development of microlevel tests based on biochemical characteristics of grainusing small quantity of whole meal flour for predicting Farinograph Water Absorption (FWA), gluten index, sedimentation volume, starch swelling properties, phytic acid, phytase levels and Polyphenol Oxidase levels. Microlevel tests developed requiring very little amount of wheat sample were found very useful in screening wheat genotypes for both processing and nutritional quality traits. Several thousands of wheat genotypes and segregating lines in breeding were screened for development of superior cultivars.
  • Increasing Fe, Zn and protein content in wheat. Evaluation of released varieties of wheat and selected germplasm lines exhibited two fold variations in Fe and Zn content. Significant positive correlation was exhibited between Fe and Zn content. Utilization of Gpc-B1 in increasing protein content and dough strength: Recently Gpc-B1 locus transferred from dicoccoides into hexaploid background was used making crosses with high yielding backgrounds. There was large variation in grain protein content of F2 population of a cross between HD2967 and Gpc-B1 derived lines. Surprisingly, it ranged from 11.0 to 20% at 14% moisture basis. Now the population is at F5stage. Different markers are being used to validate the QTL and utilization in breeding.
  • Identified synthetic hexaploids with high levels of Phytase in grains and very useful in improving bioavailability of micronutrients in human beings. Developed microlevel test for estimation of phytate content and phytase (enzyme) levels in wheat grain for their fast and easy estimation. Sequence analysis of full length PAP-a1 gene (Phytase) showed the presence of 4 introns and total length of 2060bp encoding polypeptide of 548 aa. Markers ae being identified asociated with high phytase levels.

The Project Team

Principal Investigator

Dr Sewa Ram, Principal Scientist(Plant Biochemistry)           

Co-Principal Investigators

Dr B.S. Tyagi, Principal Scientist(Plant Breeding)

Dr Sneh Narwal, Principal Scientist(Plant Biochemistry)

Dr Ms. Vanita Pandey, Scientist(Plant Biochemistry)