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Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Vol. 92, No: 2, 2012, Pages: 207 - 15

Perspectives to breed for improved baking quality wheat varieties adapted to organic growing conditions

Osman AM, Struik PC, van Bueren ET

Louis Bolk Institute, Hoofdstraat 24, NL-3972 LA Driebergen, The Netherlands.


Northwestern European consumers like their bread to be voluminous and easy to chew. These attributes require a raw material that is rich in protein with, among other characteristics, a suitable ratio between gliadins and glutenins. Achieving this is a challenge for organic growers, because they lack cultivars that can realise high protein concentrations under the relatively low and variable availability of nitrogen during the grain-filling phase common in organic farming. Relatively low protein content in wheat grains thus needs to be compensated by a high proportion of high-quality protein. Organic farming therefore needs cultivars with genes encoding for optimal levels of glutenins and gliadins, a maximum ability for nitrogen uptake, a large storage capacity of nitrogen in the biomass, an adequate balance between vegetative and reproductive growth, a high nitrogen translocation efficiency for the vegetative parts into the grains during grain filling and an efficient conversion of nitrogen into high-quality proteins. In this perspective paper the options to breed and grow such varieties are discussed.



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