The genetics of late maturity alpha-amylase (LMA) in North American spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

Chang Liu, Rehana S. Parveen, Samuel R. Revolinski, Kimberly A. Garland Campbell, Michael O. Pumphrey, Camille M. Steber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Genetic susceptibility to late maturity alpha-amylase (LMA) in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) results in increased alpha-amylase activity in mature grain when cool conditions occur during late grain maturation. Farmers are forced to sell wheat grain with elevated alpha-amylase at a discount because it has an increased risk of poor end-product quality. This problem can result from either LMA or preharvest sprouting, grain germination on the mother plant when rain occurs before harvest. Whereas preharvest sprouting is a well-understood problem, little is known about the risk LMA poses to North American wheat crops. To examine this, LMA susceptibility was characterized in a panel of 251 North American hard spring wheat lines, representing ten geographical areas. It appears that there is substantial LMA susceptibility in North American wheat since only 27% of the lines showed reproducible LMA resistance following cold-induction experiments. A preliminary genome-wide association study detected six significant marker-trait associations. LMA in North American wheat may result from genetic mechanisms similar to those previously observed in Australian and International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) germplasm since two of the detected QTLs, QLMA.wsu.7B and QLMA.wsu.6B, co-localized with previously reported loci. The Reduced height (Rht) loci also influenced LMA. Elevated alpha-amylase levels were significantly associated with the presence of both wild-type and tall height, rht-B1a and rht-D1a, loci in both cold-treated and untreated samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-168
Number of pages10
JournalSeed Science Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 9 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
and Sheri Rynearson for expert technical support. Thanks are due to members of the Pumphrey and Garland Campbell lab field crews for assistance with sample collection. We are grateful to members of the Steber, Pumphrey and Garland Campbell labs for insightful suggestions on the research and the manuscript. This research was funded by the Washington Grain Commission, a Washington State University Emerging Research Issues in Agriculture grant and the USDA-ARS.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Author(s) 2021.


  • Falling Number test
  • grain development
  • late maturity α-amylase
  • LMA
  • reduced height-1 (rht-1)
  • Triticum aestivum
  • wheat
  • Α-amylase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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