Date of this Version
Genes 2020, 11, 838; doi:10.3390/genes11080838 www.mdpi.com/journal/genes
Bran friability (particle size distribution after milling) and water retention capacity (WRC) impact wheat bran functionality in whole grain milling and baking applications. The goal of this study was to identify genomic regions and underlying genes that may be responsible for these traits. The Hard Winter Wheat Association Mapping Panel, which comprised 299 lines from breeding programs in the Great Plains region of the US, was used in a genome-wide association study. Bran friability ranged from 34.5% to 65.9% (median, 51.1%) and WRC ranged from 159% to 458% (median, 331%). Two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on chromosome 5D were significantly associated with bran friability, accounting for 11–12% of the phenotypic variation. One of these SNPs was located within the Puroindoline-b gene, which is known for influencing endosperm texture. Two SNPs on chromosome 4A were tentatively associated with WRC, accounting for 4.6% and 4.4% of phenotypic variation. The favorable alleles at the SNP sites were present in only 15% (friability) and 34% (WRC) of lines, indicating a need to develop new germplasm for these whole-grain end-use quality traits. Validation of these findings in independent populations will be useful for breeding winter wheat cultivars with improved functionality for whole grain food applications.