, Volume 100, Issue 1–3, pp 163–170 | Cite as

Breeding durum wheat for pasta quality in Canada

  • J.M. Clarke
  • B.A. Marchylo
  • M.I.P. Kovacs
  • J.S. Noll
  • T.N. McCaig
  • N.K. Howes


Canada was the largest durum wheat (Triticum turgidum var durum) producer in 1994, and in recent years supplied over 70% of world export trade in durum. Breeding for pasta quality is, therefore, a primary objective in Canadian durum breeding programs. Control of cultivar registration and stringent grading standards ensure that durum of consistent high quality is produced for domestic and export markets. The objectives of breeding programs include: improvement of traits related to production concerns, such as grain yield, disease resistance and sprouting resistance, and those related to end-use quality, such as protein concentration and quality; milling quality factors, such as semolina yield; colour of the wheat, semolina and pasta; and cooking quality. Selection and testing for quality begins at very early generations and becomes more stringent for advanced inbred lines. Selection is practised at the F1 or F2, where appropriate, using monoclonal antibodies to identify desirable gamma gliadins (γ-45 ) or low molecular weight glutenin subunits (LMW 2) that have been shown to be related to end-use quality. Grain from early generation yield trials, starting at F4, is screened for protein concentration and pigment content by Near Infrared reflectance, and for gluten strength by sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) sedimentation and micro-mixograph. Promising lines entered into multi-location yield trials are screened with more time-consuming procedures to fully assess suitability for pasta processing. These tests include semolina yield, ash and colour, and predictions of gluten strength such as mixograph and alveograph, and cooking quality. Candidate cultivars with quality equal to or better than the mean of the check cultivars can be proposed for registration after three years in the Durum Cooperative Test. It takes approximately 10 years from performing a cross to registrating a new cultivar.


Durum Wheat Cooking Quality Near Infrared Reflectance Gluten Strength Pasta Quality 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.M. Clarke
    • 1
  • B.A. Marchylo
    • 2
  • M.I.P. Kovacs
    • 3
  • J.S. Noll
    • 3
  • T.N. McCaig
    • 1
  • N.K. Howes
    • 3
  1. 1.Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre, Swift CurrentAgriculture and Agri-Food CanadaSaskatchewanCanada
  2. 2.Grain Research LaboratoryCanadian Grain CommissionWinnipegCanada
  3. 3.Cereal Research CentreAgriculture and Agri-Food CanadaWinnipegCanada

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