Number of pages: 26
Type of document: Report
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Language of document: English
Title in English: An evolutionary breeding approach to improve bread quality of spring wheat for low input organic farming systems: Trials from 2011-2013, Scientific report
Abstract / summary in English:
The Dutch organic agriculture is in need of wheat varieties adapted to organic conditions. Modern wheat varieties do not give satisfactory baking quality when grown under organic and low input conditions. More diversity within varieties would make varieties more stable, adaptable and resilient against stresses. However, natural selection results in phenotypes with increased natural fitness, and baking quality traits are not directly correlated to fitness. Therefore evolutionary breeding is not expected to improve bread making properties of wheat. The overall aim of our research is to provide the organic sector with a new decentralized (participatory) wheat breeding approach that allows for the selection of locally adapted high baking quality varieties. In this project natural selection has been compared with various selection approaches by the breeder and selection by the farmers. During three years the overall performance of three composite cross populations (CCPs) has been compared with two varieties commonly grown organically in the Netherlands and Germany. In the last year the new selections have been compared with the original populations and the two standard varieties. Results show that the populations have better yield stability than the varieties, and equal or slightly better baking quality. The selection approaches had no effect on yield and baking quality parameters (protein content, sedimentation, Hagberg falling number, gluten content and gluten index). However, the selections made by the breeder and the farmers resulted in populations with increased plant height and lower tillering. The breeder prefers his selection approach as it results in lower tillering which in turn should improve baking quality, but the farmers prefer natural selection as they prefer high tillering to improve weed competitiveness. Hence, the modified selection approach has had no effect on yield and baking quality but does have effect on various agronomic traits. The effect on the agronomic traits is appreciated differently by the breeder and the farmers. Two populations with the highest yield potential, good yellow rust resistance and lodging tolerance will be cultivated by seven farmers in 2014.
Keywords in English: composite cross populations, wheat, organic farming, baking quality, diversity