High Throughput Testing of Key Wheat Quality Traits in Hard Red Spring Wheat Breeding Programs

  • Bin Xiao FuEmail author
  • Kun Wang
  • Brigitte Dupuis
  • Richard D. Cuthbert


Effective and efficient selection of key quality traits in early generations of a wheat breeding program is crucial when developing new wheat varieties with improved end-use quality. Here we propose and evaluate a screening protocol based on limited amounts of grain samples for early generation testing of wheat flour yield, flour water absorption and gluten strength. A modified protocol using the Quadrumat Junior (QJ) mill was developed to predict flour yield and compared to the standard protocol using the Bühler laboratory mill. The resulting flour samples (8 g) were tested with the GlutoPeak, a shear-based measuring device, to predict flour water absorption. Gluten strength was also assessed with the GlutoPeak and a rapid extensigraph method. Significant correlation (r = 0.90, p < 0.001) was found between QJ flour yield and the yield obtained in the Bühler mill. GlutoPeak torque was highly correlated with farinograph measurements of water absorption (r = 0.91, p < 0.001). Significant correlations (r > 0.91, p < 0.001) were found for GlutoPeak strength index and the maximum resistance to extension (Rmax) of the modified extensigraph method. Rmax that is conventionally used to evaluate lines in registration trials for dough properties in Canada. The mixing parameters obtained during dough preparation for the rapid extensigraph method provided additional information about dough strength and mixing requirements. With a four-fold increase in throughput, the proposed combination using QJ mill, GlutoPeak and rapid extensigraph methods requires as little as 200 g of wheat to predict milling performance, flour water absorption and gluten properties. This protocol can be widely adopted for screening key quality traits in wheat breeding programs.


Wheat quality screening Milling performance Water absorption Dough viscoelasticity 



Canada Western Red Spring


farinograph absorption


Quadrumat Junior


maximum resistance to extension


maximum torque; WA, water absorption.



The authors are grateful to Andrea Iverson, Altash Yirdaw, Ofelia Francisco-Pabalan, Yuming Chen and Shan Leng for conducting QJ milling, GlutoPeak and extensigraph analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bin Xiao Fu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kun Wang
    • 1
  • Brigitte Dupuis
    • 1
  • Richard D. Cuthbert
    • 2
  1. 1.Grain Research Laboratory, Canadian Grain CommissionWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Swift Current Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food CanadaSwift CurrentCanada

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