Improvement of end-use quality in bread wheat depends on a thorough understanding of current wheat quality and the influences of genotype (G), environment (E), and genotype by environment interaction (G × E) on quality traits. Thirty-nine spring-sown spring wheat (SSSW) cultivars and advanced lines from China were grown in four agro-ecological zones comprising seven locations during the 1998 and 1999 cropping seasons. Data on 12 major bread-making quality traits were used to investigate the effect of G, E, and G × E on these traits. Wide range variability for protein quantity and quality, starch quality parameters and milling quality in Chinese SSSW was observed. Genotype and environment were found to significantly influence all quality parameters as major effects. Kernel hardness, flour yield, Zeleny sedimentation value and mixograph properties were mainly influenced by the genetic variance components, while thousand kernel weight, test weight, and falling number were mostly influenced by the environmental variance components. Genotype, environment, and their interaction had important effects on test weight, mixing development time and RVA parameters. Cultivars originating from Zone VI (northeast) generally expressed high kernel hardness, good starch quality, but poor milling and medium to weak mixograph performance; those from Zone VII (north) medium to good gluten and starch quality, but low milling quality; those from Zone VIII (central northwest) medium milling and starch quality, and medium to strong mixograph performance; those from Zone IX (western/southwestern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau) medium milling quality, but poor gluten strength and starch parameters; and those from Zone X (northwest) high milling quality, strong mixograph properties, but low protein content. Samples from Harbin are characterized by good gluten and starch quality, but medium to poor milling quality; those from Hongxinglong by strong mixograph properties, medium to high milling quality, but medium to poor starch quality and medium to low protein content; those from Hohhot by good gluten but poor milling quality; those from Linhe by weak gluten quality, medium to poor milling quality; those from Lanzhou by poor bread-making and starch quality; those from Yongning by acceptable bread-making and starch quality and good milling quality; and those from Urumqi by good milling quality, medium gluten quality and good starch pasting parameters. Our findings suggest that Chinese SSSW quality could be greatly enhanced through genetic improvement for targeted well-characterized production environments.
1.Institute of Crop Breeding and Cultivation, National Wheat Improvement Center/Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics & Breeding, Ministry of AgricultureChinese Academy of Agriculture Sciences (CAAS)BeijingP.R. China
2.CIMMYT-China Office, c/o CAASBeijingP.R. China
3.School of Land and FoodThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
4.Institute of Genetics and Developmental BiologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingP.R. China