Special Issue "Wheat Breeding: Procedures and Strategies"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Crop Breeding and Genetics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. David Van Sanford
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA
Interests: inheritance of resistance to Fusarium head blight; breeding for adaptation to climate change; genetic factors associated with nitrogen use efficiency; genomic selection; locally sourcing bread wheat
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This is an exciting time in the wheat breeding arena:

  • The cost of genotyping continues to drop such that genomic selection is now in full swing in many wheat breeding programs across the world. At the same time, we recognize that many challenges remain in optimizing genomic selection and determining the weight that it should have in a mainstream breeding program;
  • Almost daily, we are reminded of the costs that climate change is inflicting, even now, on agriculture, and each new report of the extent of potential damage is graver than the last. In spite of this situation, there have been relatively few reports on breeding efforts undertaken to select for traits that confer resilience and/or adaptation to climate change.
  • Another trend in the wheat breeding community is the growing interest in sourcing food locally and the implication of this on breeding programs, including selection for local adaptation and other end uses than may be dictated by the standard commodity wheat protocol. One of the questions that invariably comes up concerns genetic variation in flavor among breeding lines and cultivars and whether we can effectively select for it.

This Special Issue of Agronomy, Wheat Breeding: Procedures and Strategies, offers a great opportunity to publish on these topics or others that seem appropriate for this issue.

Prof. Dr. David Van Sanford
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • genomic selection
  • selection for resilience to climate change
  • phenotypic plasticity and breeding for adaptation to climate change
  • selection for local adaption of wheat varieties to support local economies
  • selection for and heritability of flavor in baked products

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Breeding Wheat for Resilience to Increasing Nighttime Temperatures
Agronomy 2020, 10(4), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10040531 - 08 Apr 2020
Abstract
Increases in global mean temperature since 1960 are largely attributed to the rise in minimum nighttime temperatures thereby decreasing diurnal temperature variation. Increased night temperatures are known to affect crop development. A multi-year study investigating the effects of increased night temperatures on soft [...] Read more.
Increases in global mean temperature since 1960 are largely attributed to the rise in minimum nighttime temperatures thereby decreasing diurnal temperature variation. Increased night temperatures are known to affect crop development. A multi-year study investigating the effects of increased night temperatures on soft red winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) varieties was conducted during the 2015-2016 growing seasons at the University of Kentucky Spindletop Research Farm in Lexington, KY. Thirty-six cultivars and breeding lines were chosen based on their genotypes at photoperiod and vernalization loci. This material was planted in a randomized complete block experiment with two replications and two environments, control and passively warmed. To create a passively warmed environment, thermal covers were mounted to frames in plots and connected to a datalogger programmed to cover plants from dusk to dawn based on coordinate location. Night temperature increases ranged from 0.27–0.75 °C above ambient temperature. Grain yield, averaged across genotypes, was significantly reduced in the passively warmed environment by 224 kg ha−1 (p ≤ 0.05) or 6.44%; however, yield response to environment varied among genotypes with several genotypes displaying an increased yield in the warmed environment. Yield reductions may reflect reduced nitrogen utilization (9.4%; p ≤ 0.001) under increased night temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wheat Breeding: Procedures and Strategies)
Open AccessArticle
Comparing a Random Forest Based Prediction of Winter Wheat Yield to Historical Yield Potential
Agronomy 2020, 10(3), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10030395 - 14 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Predicting wheat yield is crucial due to the importance of wheat across the world. When modeling yield, the difference between potential and actual yield consistently changes because of advances in technology. Considering historical yield potential would help determine spatiotemporal trends in agricultural development. [...] Read more.
Predicting wheat yield is crucial due to the importance of wheat across the world. When modeling yield, the difference between potential and actual yield consistently changes because of advances in technology. Considering historical yield potential would help determine spatiotemporal trends in agricultural development. Comparing current and historical yields in Denmark is possible because yield potential has been documented throughout history. However, the current national winter wheat yield map solely uses soil properties within the model. The aim of this study was to generate a new Danish winter wheat yield map and compare the results to historical yield potential. Utilizing random forest with soil, climate, and topography variables, a winter wheat yield map was generated from 876 field trials carried out from 1992 to 2018. The random forest model performed better than the model based only on soil. The updated national yield map was then compared to yield potential maps from 1688 and 1844. While historical time periods are characterized by numerous low yield potential areas and few highly productive areas, current yield is evenly distributed between low and high yields. Advances in technology and farm practices have exceeded historical yield predictions, mainly due to the use of fertilizer, irrigation, and drainage. Thus, modeling yield projections could be unreliable in the future as technology progresses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wheat Breeding: Procedures and Strategies)
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Open AccessArticle
Yield and Quality in Purple-Grained Wheat Isogenic Lines
Agronomy 2020, 10(1), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10010086 - 08 Jan 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Breeding programs for purple wheat are underway in many countries but there is a lack of information on the effects of Pp (purple pericarp) genes on agronomic and quality traits in variable environments and along the product chain (grain-flour-bread). This study was based [...] Read more.
Breeding programs for purple wheat are underway in many countries but there is a lack of information on the effects of Pp (purple pericarp) genes on agronomic and quality traits in variable environments and along the product chain (grain-flour-bread). This study was based on unique material: two pairs of isogenic lines in a spring wheat cv. Saratovskaya-29 (S29) background differing only in Pp genes and grain color. In 2017, seven experiments were conducted in Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkey with a focus on genotype and environment interaction and, in 2018, one experiment in Turkey with a focus on grain, flour, and bread quality. The effect of environment was greater compared to genotype for the productivity and quality traits studied. Nevertheless, several important traits, such as grain color and anthocyanin content, are closely controlled by genotype, offering the opportunity for selection. Phenolic content in purple-grained lines was not significantly higher in whole wheat flour than in red-colored lines. However, this trait was significantly higher in bread. For antioxidant activities, no differences between the genotypes were detected in both experiments. Comparison of two sources of Pp genes demonstrated that the lines originating from cv. Purple Feed had substantially improved productivity and quality traits compared to those from cv. Purple. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wheat Breeding: Procedures and Strategies)
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Open AccessArticle
Genomic Selection at Preliminary Yield Trial Stage: Training Population Design to Predict Untested Lines
Agronomy 2020, 10(1), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10010060 - 01 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Genomic selection (GS) is being applied routinely in wheat breeding programs. For the evaluation of preliminary lines, this tool is becoming important because preliminary lines are generally evaluated in few environments with no replications due to the minimal amount of seed available to [...] Read more.
Genomic selection (GS) is being applied routinely in wheat breeding programs. For the evaluation of preliminary lines, this tool is becoming important because preliminary lines are generally evaluated in few environments with no replications due to the minimal amount of seed available to the breeder. A total of 816 breeding lines belonging to advanced or preliminary yield trials were included in the study. We designed different training populations (TP) to predict lines in preliminary yield trials (PYT) consisting of: (i) advanced lines of the breeding program; (ii) 50% of the preliminary lines set belonging to many families; (iii) only full sibs, consisting of 50% of lines of each family. Results showed that the strategy of splitting the preliminary set in half, phenotyping only half of the lines to serve as the TP showed the most consistent results for the different traits. For a subset of the population of lines, we observed accuracies ranging from 0.49–0.65 for yield, 0.59–0.61 for test weight, 0.70–0.72 for heading date, and 0.49–0.50 for height. Accuracies decreased with the other training population designs, and were inconsistent across preliminary line sets and traits. From a breeder’s perspective, a prediction accuracy of 0.65 meant, at 0.2 selection intensity, 75% of the best yielding lines based on phenotypic information were correctly selected by the GS model. Our results demonstrate that, despite the small family size, an approach that includes lines from the same family in both the TP and VP, together with half sibs and more distant lines, and only phenotyping the lines included in the TP, could be a useful, efficient design for establishing a GS scheme to predict lines entering first year yield trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wheat Breeding: Procedures and Strategies)
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Open AccessArticle
Do Triticum aestivum L. and Triticum spelta L. Hybrids Constitute a Promising Source Material for Quality Breeding ofNew Wheat Varieties?
Agronomy 2020, 10(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10010043 - 27 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The aim of this two-year study was to determine whether the contents of macronutrients and macro and microelements in wheat grain can be increased by crossbreeding Triticum aestivum and T. spelta. The experimental material comprised the grains of F6 and F [...] Read more.
The aim of this two-year study was to determine whether the contents of macronutrients and macro and microelements in wheat grain can be increased by crossbreeding Triticum aestivum and T. spelta. The experimental material comprised the grains of F6 and F7 hybrids and their parental forms. The element content of grain was determined by ICP-SFMS. Hybrid grains had significantly higher ash contents than bread wheat grain (1.90% and 1.93% versus 1.62%). Crude protein content was lowest in bread wheat grain (11.75%) and highest in spelt grain (14.67%). Hybrid grains had significantly higher protein contents (12.97% and13.19%) than bread wheat grain. In both years of the study, the concentrations of P, S, Mg and Ca were highest in spelt grain, whereas their content in hybrids was lower than in spelt grain, but higher than in bread wheat grain. The concentrations of desirable microelements were highest in spelt grain, and the micronutrient profile of hybrid grains was more similar to bread wheat than spelt. Therefore, the hybrids can constitute promising source material for quality breeding in wheat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wheat Breeding: Procedures and Strategies)
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Open AccessArticle
Mass Selection for Reduced Deoxynivalenol Concentration Using an Optical Sorter in SRW Wheat
Agronomy 2019, 9(12), 816; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9120816 - 28 Nov 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) results in discolored Fusarium damaged kernels (FDK) contaminated with deoxynivalenol (DON). DON accumulation, a primary measure of FHB resistance, can be used as a basis for selection, but testing each genotype in several [...] Read more.
Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) results in discolored Fusarium damaged kernels (FDK) contaminated with deoxynivalenol (DON). DON accumulation, a primary measure of FHB resistance, can be used as a basis for selection, but testing each genotype in several genetically variable populations is expensive and time-consuming. Therefore, FHB resistance breeding decisions are routinely based on in-field phenotypic evaluation. However, using an optical sorter as an alternative to in-field evaluation, mass selection (MS) for FHB resistance can be quickly performed post-harvest. The objective of this study was to utilize an optical seed sorter to select breeding lines with enhanced FHB resistance (lower DON and FDK values). Three hundred F4 derived breeding lines were grown in an inoculated disease nursery over several years in Lexington, KY. Grain from each breeding line was sorted using an optical seed sorter calibrated to reject scabby (discolored) seed. The accepted (non-scabby) seed was used to plant subsequent generations. DON and kernel damage traits were lowered each cycle of line selection with the optical sorter. Our findings suggest that optically sorting grain may be an effective breeding strategy for lowering DON accumulation and limiting kernel damage associated with FHB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wheat Breeding: Procedures and Strategies)
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Open AccessArticle
Marker-Assisted Development of a Blue-Grained Substitution Line Carrying the Thinopyrum ponticum Chromosome 4Th(4D) in the Spring Bread Wheat Saratovskaya 29 Background
Agronomy 2019, 9(11), 723; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9110723 - 07 Nov 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
There is growing interest in cereals with anthocyanins in grain as a source of natural biologically active compounds beneficial for human health. In bread wheat, anthocyanins accumulate in the pericarp, under control of Pp genes, and in the aleurone layer, under control of [...] Read more.
There is growing interest in cereals with anthocyanins in grain as a source of natural biologically active compounds beneficial for human health. In bread wheat, anthocyanins accumulate in the pericarp, under control of Pp genes, and in the aleurone layer, under control of Ba. Breeding anthocyanin-rich wheat cultivars is possible through the transfer of genes from genetic stocks to the desired cultivars. A blue-grained substitution line, s:S294Th(4D) (BC7 progeny), of the bread wheat cultivar Saratovskaya 29 (S29) carrying the Thinopyrum ponticum (Podp.) chromosome 4Th was developed. The 4Th/4D substitution was confirmed with chromosome C-banding and multicolor FISH, as well as by microsatellite analysis. Total anthocyanin content in the bran fraction of the new blue-grained line was 475.7 μg/g compared to 355.6 μg/g of the control purple-grained near-isogenic line, i:S29Pp-A1Pp-D1Pp3P, and a total absence in S29. Although the developed line carries entire chromosome substitution, its 1000 grains weight, milling parameters, and dough physical properties did not differ or decreased slightly comparison to S29. These results support that the developed substitution line can be of interest in breeding programs to increase the anthocyanin production in commercial varieties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wheat Breeding: Procedures and Strategies)
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Open AccessArticle
Toward a New Use for Carbon Isotope Discrimination in Wheat Breeding
Agronomy 2019, 9(7), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9070385 - 16 Jul 2019
Abstract
A major obstacle in the effort to develop drought tolerant varieties of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is phenotyping. Traits known to contribute to improved drought tolerance, such as water-use behavior, reliance on stem reserve carbohydrates, and the ability to develop deep roots, [...] Read more.
A major obstacle in the effort to develop drought tolerant varieties of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is phenotyping. Traits known to contribute to improved drought tolerance, such as water-use behavior, reliance on stem reserve carbohydrates, and the ability to develop deep roots, require time and resource-intensive screening techniques. Plant breeding programs often have many thousands of experimental genotypes, which makes testing for each of these traits impractical. This work proposes that carbon isotope discrimination (∆) analysis of mature grains may serve as a relatively high-throughput approach to identify genotypes exhibiting traits associated with drought tolerance. Using ∆ as a proxy for stomatal conductance and photosynthetic capacity, assumptions can be made regarding fundamental plant physiological responses. When combined with knowledge of the terminal drought severity experienced in a particular environment, genotypes exhibiting conservative and rapid water use, deep roots, and reliance on stem reserve carbohydrates may be identified. Preliminary data in support of this idea are presented. Further verification of this use for grain ∆ will better equip wheat breeding programs to develop more drought tolerant varieties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wheat Breeding: Procedures and Strategies)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Economics of Wheat Breeding Strategies: Focusing on Oklahoma Hard Red Winter Wheat
Agronomy 2020, 10(2), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10020238 - 05 Feb 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Wheat breeding continues to be an important component of agricultural innovations in the Great Plains region of the US. This paper reviews Oklahoma’s wheat breeding program over the past several decades with an emphasis on the economic aspects and planning of future breeding [...] Read more.
Wheat breeding continues to be an important component of agricultural innovations in the Great Plains region of the US. This paper reviews Oklahoma’s wheat breeding program over the past several decades with an emphasis on the economic aspects and planning of future breeding strategies. Over the past century, Oklahoma’s wheat yields have increased but the productivity gains have been offset in part due to increased yield variability. The shift to improved wheat varieties has resulted in increased susceptibility to plant disease and pest pressure. While a few varieties introduced over the past few decades have dominated the wheat seed market, recent trends indicate producers are adopting a more diverse range of wheat varieties. Producers’ concerns have expanded beyond demands for high yielding varieties to include more market oriented needs to increase protein content and test weight. This paper identifies several key policy instruments that Oklahoma stakeholders and policy makers should consider when planning future breeding strategies. A critical need is to assist Oklahoma producers in adapting to climate change by developing drought and heat resistant wheat varieties. Marketing new varieties would be improved and revenue increased if more innovative pricing structures were adopted to better align producers’ willingness to pay with seed development costs, which could then be re-invested in breeding. Research budgets, which have remained stagnant in real terms, will need to be increased to adequately address producers’ needs into the 21st century. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wheat Breeding: Procedures and Strategies)
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Open AccessReview
Genomic Selection—Considerations for Successful Implementation in Wheat Breeding Programs
Agronomy 2019, 9(9), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9090479 - 23 Aug 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
In order to meet the goal of doubling wheat yield by 2050, breeders must work to improve breeding program efficiency while also implementing new and improved technologies in order to increase genetic gain. Genomic selection (GS) is an expansion of marker assisted selection [...] Read more.
In order to meet the goal of doubling wheat yield by 2050, breeders must work to improve breeding program efficiency while also implementing new and improved technologies in order to increase genetic gain. Genomic selection (GS) is an expansion of marker assisted selection which uses a statistical model to estimate all marker effects for an individual simultaneously to determine a genome estimated breeding value (GEBV). Breeders are thus able to select for performance based on GEBVs in the absence of phenotypic data. In wheat, genomic selection has been successfully implemented for a number of key traits including grain yield, grain quality and quantitative disease resistance, such as that for Fusarium head blight. For this review, we focused on the ways to modify genomic selection to maximize prediction accuracy, including prediction model selection, marker density, trait heritability, linkage disequilibrium, the relationship between training and validation sets, population structure, and training set optimization methods. Altogether, the effects of these different factors on the accuracy of predictions should be thoroughly considered for the successful implementation of GS strategies in wheat breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wheat Breeding: Procedures and Strategies)
Open AccessReview
Worldwide Research Trends on Wheat and Barley: A Bibliometric Comparative Analysis
Agronomy 2019, 9(7), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9070352 - 03 Jul 2019
Cited by 27
Abstract
Grain cereals such as wheat, barley, rice, and maize are the nutritional basis of humans and animals worldwide. Thus, these crop plants are essential in terms of global food security. We conducted a bibliometric assessment of scientific documents and patents related to wheat [...] Read more.
Grain cereals such as wheat, barley, rice, and maize are the nutritional basis of humans and animals worldwide. Thus, these crop plants are essential in terms of global food security. We conducted a bibliometric assessment of scientific documents and patents related to wheat and barley through the Scopus database. The number of documents published per year, their affiliation and corresponding scientific areas, the publishing journals, document types and languages were metricized. The main keywords included in research publications concerning these crops were also analysed globally and clustered in thematic groups. In the case of keywords related to agronomy or genetics and molecular biology, we considered documents dated up to 1999, and from 2000 to 2018, separately. Comparison of the results obtained for wheat and barley revealed some remarkable different trends, for which the underlying reasons are further discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wheat Breeding: Procedures and Strategies)
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