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Breeding Approaches for Nutritional Quality Traits in Wheat
Bruno Viallis and Pierre Berbezy1
Limagrain Ingrédients, Riom, France
1 Limagrain Ingrédients, ZAC Les Portes de Riom, Ave George Gershwin, 63200 Riom Cedex, France.
© 2020 Cereals & Grains Association
There is a continuing need for wheat research to identify and introduce novel traits. This can be done through breeding, which can be used to improve wheat by creating new genetic cultivars. Until now, wheat breeding efforts have focused mainly on improving agronomic traits. Today, however, there is increasing demand for wheat with enhanced nutritional traits. Once a breeding target is determined for a specific trait, first steps include understanding the biochemical pathways involved and identifying suitable germplasms for cultivation and commercial development. For the technical development process, establishing phenotyping and genetic screening tools and adapting breeding processes are keys to succeeding in offering new wheat varieties with improved nutritional traits intended for end-user growers, food marketers, and consumers. To address one of the prevalent nutritional issues in Western societies, lack of fiber consumption and increasing incidence of type 2 diabetes, a new wheat variety with innovative starch characteristics, high-amylose wheat (HAW), was developed. HAW is enriched in resistant starch, and, hence, fiber content, enabling the manufacture of end-products with higher fiber contents. This article provides insights into the elements that must be considered in the breeding process, from the genetics to the commercialization of nutritionally enhanced wheat. After several years of breeding research, HAW was released commercially to provide health benefits directly to consumers.
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