Canadian Field Crop Genetics Improvement Cluster, Activity 13: In vitro and in vivo amino acid digestibility of selected soybean, oat, and wheat varieties to identify targets with high protein quality and digestibility for future variety development

Principal Investigator

Lamia L’Hocine

Research Institution

Saint-Hyacinthe Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

External Funding Partners

This project is part of the $10.3 million Canadian Field Crop Genetics Improvement Cluster funded by the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) through the Industry-Led Research and Development Stream of the Growing Forward 2 AgriInnovation Program. Grain Farmers of Ontario is a founding member of the CFCRA.

Project Start

April 2013

Project End

March 2018

Objectives

  • Select varieties of soybean, oat, and wheat with high protein quality traits (i.e., high protein and amino acid digestibility and high contents of limiting amino acids) that will meet protein quality claims based on new Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recommendations.
  • Study the impact of variety and selected processing treatments on protein and amino acid digestibility using current and revised FAO recommendations for protein quality assessment.
  • Identify varieties of soybean, oat, and wheat with bioactive peptide and prebiotic potential that could be marketed for their promotion of digestive health.
  • Study the functional properties of varieties with the most promising traits to identify targets for future varietal development.

Impact

  • New information on the protein quality of Canadian soybean, oat, and wheat varieties based on the new Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations’ recommendation for protein quality assessment.
  • The development of specific varieties/market classes of Canadian soybean, oat, and wheat for food uses.
  • The improvement of nutritional quality of Canadian soybean, oat, and wheat.

Scientific Summary

Proteins are part of a balanced diet to promote health and provide all essential amino acids to achieve desired bodily functions. Protein quality is affected by the presence of anti-nutritional factors such as trypsin inhibitors, phytic acid and tannins. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has recently released a new revised protein quality measure for human health called the Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS), which is used to assess the nutritional value of a protein by its contribution to amino acid and nitrogen requirements and the amounts of amino acids absorbed by the body. As plant proteins have lower digestibility than animal proteins, this could dramatically change their protein quality rating. Thus detailed assessment of the impact of varietal differences on protein quality and digestibility of Canadian soybean, oat, and wheat using the revised recommendations is warranted in order to inform future varietal development work.

This project will allow high protein quality varieties to be identified for developmental research, with a positive impact on Canadian producers and processors. One of the objectives of this project is to assess the effect of varietal differences of Canadian soybean, oat, and wheat on protein quality and digestibility. Canadian varieties were selected and acquired from breeders. They included cultivars with high and low protein content. A Gene (G) x Environment (E) effect (variety x location) was also considered in the case of oat. In the first stage of this project, the nutritional quality of the selected soybean, oat, and wheat varieties was assessed on the basis of amino acid composition, the digestibility using an in vitro static method, and the calculation of the new DIAAS. In the second stage, selected varieties will be also subjected to in vitro semi dynamic and in vivo protein and an ileal AA digestibility tests. Raw and cooked flours (to simulate processed real-life samples) from the selected varieties will be analysed to assess the impact of processing (thermal treatment) on protein and amino acid digestibility. Their prebiotic and bioactive potential will be also evaluated.

National Wheat Improvement Program Cluster, Activity 5: Development of improved spring wheat cultivars with enhanced disease and pest resistance, higher nutritional benefits, and better market appeal and grain quality for eastern and central Canada

Principal Investigator

Shahrokh Khanizadeh

Research Institution

Ottawa Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

External Funding Partners

This project is part of the $25.2 million National Wheat Improvement Program funded by the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF), the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA), the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) through the Industry-Led Research and Development Stream of the Growing Forward 2 AgriInnovation Program. Grain Farmers of Ontario is a founding member of the CFCRA.

Project Start

April 2013

Project End

March 2018

Objectives

  • Develop improved disease resistant spring wheat cultivars with better market appeal and grain quality; and adapted for eastern Canada.
  • Develop and apply selection techniques in breeding to increase screening efficiency for disease resistance to important diseases, such as rust, powdery mildew and Fusarium head blight (FHB).
  • Improve and apply methodologies for screening quality, such as bran physical properties, milling properties and dough functionality affecting processing.

Impact

  • The improvement of eastern Canada spring wheat in terms of yield, disease resistance and quality may allow producers greater access to value-added processing markets surrounding the Great Lakes and along the St. Lawrence River.
  • The improvements to eastern Canadian spring wheat with greater disease resistance could allow for increased economic sustainability, allowing farmers to use less pesticide and be more efficient using inputs on their farm.

Scientific Summary

While most of the Canadian production of hard red and white spring wheat is in the Prairie provinces, the most important domestic market of well over a million tonnes is in eastern Canada. The milling, processing, and baking industry is centered around the Great Lakes and along the St. Lawrence River, and has undergone an unprecedented expansion into value-added processing in recent years to supply the huge market on both sides of the Canada-US border. However, growers in eastern Canada have been able to supply only a fraction of this large market on their doorstep, due to generally low yields, low quality, and especially infection by Fusarium graminearum, the fungus causing Fusarium head blight (FHB). FHB is the most important disease of hard spring wheat because it affects not only grain yield but also grain quality and food safety through mycotoxins that render the grain suitable only for feed, or blending. Resistance to the fungus causing FHB has not been detected in any wheat variety. Levels of the major mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) that results from FHB are a good indicator of the degree of infection and are therefore used as a screening tool for resistance. This challenge presents exciting new opportunities for plant scientists to combine the highest possible levels of resistance with excellent milling and baking quality.

This project builds on the results obtained from a previous research project, which indicated an opportunity to create new disease resistant spring wheat varieties in order to increase profitability including value-added products and quality enhancements at the processing level and with lower production costs. The project is composed of three main parts: 1) breeding and selection including the use of markers, evaluation of advanced lines nationally, 2) disease evaluation and 3) grain quality evaluation. The proposed team is a group of well-known researchers, expert in breeding, genetic, use of markers, disease evaluation and quality analysis and effectively complement each other from crossing to variety release.

Eastern winners awarded in Grain Farmers of Ontario’s inaugural spring wheat challenge

Elgin, ON (January 19, 2011) – Exceptional wheat growers were recognized at a GFO District meeting today in Elgin, Ontario. The top three winners from Eastern Ontario were awarded prizes this afternoon for their big win in GFO’s first ever Spring Wheat Challenge.

“This new challenge was a natural direction for GFO as we’ve had such great success with the Soybean Yield Challenge in past years,” says Jaye Atkins, Vice President of Strategic Development at GFO. “The Spring Wheat Challenge was planned to recognize excellent growers of wheat and to stimulate discussion about this crop.”

The challenge attracted 29 registrants this year. “We’re happy with this participation given that this was the first year of the competition,” says Crosby Devitt, Manager of Research and Market Development at GFO. 

GFO is even happier with the yields. Final entries had to be of milling quality to compete and of those, the average yield was 71.9 bushels per acre. “Although spring wheat is historically challenging to grow, it is clear that success is attainable as demonstrated by these growers,” says Devitt.

The challenge was split into two geographic zones to best reflect the entrants, each of which will receive a cash prize of $1,500 for first place. Second place winners will take home $750 and third place winners will be awarded $500.

The challenge was made possible by a generous and exclusive sponsorship from Bayer CropScience.

The 2010 GFO Spring Wheat Challenge Eastern Winners are:

1st Place                John and Beth Nanne, Pakenham, Sable, 74.52 bu/ac

2nd Place               Jockbrae Farms Ltd, Carlton Place, AC Brio, 71.12 bu/ac

3rd Place               Appaulo Farms Ltd., Carp, 59.42 bu/ac           

The western Ontario winners will be announced at the GFO meeting in Orangeville on January 26, 2011. Check out the February issue of the Ontario Grain Farmer magazine for information about the winners’ management practices.

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.