Genetic Variation and Heritability of Sensory and Artisan Bread Traits in a Set of SRW Wheat Breeding Lines

Maria P. Castellari, Senay Simsek, Jae Bom Ohm, Robert Perry, Hanna J. Poffenbarger, Timothy D. Phillips, Krista L. Jacobsen, David A. Van Sanford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Focus on local food production and supply chains has heightened in recent years, as evidenced and amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to assess the suitability of soft red winter (SRW) wheat breeding lines for local artisan bakers interested in locally sourced, strong gluten wheat for bread. Seventy-six genotyped SRW wheat breeding lines were milled into whole wheat flour and baked into small loaves. Bread aroma, flavor, and texture were evaluated by a sensory panel, and bread quality traits, including sedimentation volume, dough extensibility, and loaf volume, were measured to estimate heritability. SE-HPLC was performed on white flour, and breeding lines were characterized for different protein fraction ratios. Heritability of loaf volume was moderately high (h2 = 0.68), while heritability of sedimentation volume, a much easier trait to measure, was slightly lower (h2 = 0.55). Certain protein fraction ratios strongly related to loaf volume had high heritability (h2 = 0.7). Even though only a moderate heritability estimate of dough extensibility was found in our study, high positive correlations were found between this parameter and sedimentation volume (r = 0.6) and loaf volume (r = 0.53). This low-input and highly repeatable parameter could be useful to estimate dough functionality characteristics. Flavor and texture heritability estimates ranged from 0.16 to 0.37, and the heritability estimate of aroma was not significantly different from zero. However, the sensorial characteristics were significantly correlated with each other, suggesting that we might be able to select indirectly for aroma by selecting for flavor or texture characteristics. From a genome-wide association study (GWAS), we identified six SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) associated with loaf volume that could be useful in breeding for this trait. Producing high-quality strong gluten flour in our high rainfall environment is a challenge, but it provides local growers and end users with a value-added opportunity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2617
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • bread-making quality
  • genomic prediction
  • loaf volume
  • local and regional food systems
  • protein concentration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science


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