U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

Wheat breeding for quality: A historical review

Alecia M. Kiszonas, Craig F. Morris
Cereal chemistry 2018 v.95 no.1 pp. 17-34
DNA, Triticum, alleles, baking quality, biotechnology, breads, chemistry, cultivars, domestication, evolution, grain quality, high-throughput nucleotide sequencing, humans, marker-assisted selection, new variety, phenotype, plant breeding, progeny, quantitative trait loci, wheat
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Wheat (Triticum spp. L.) is a leading cereal contributing to the nourishment of humankind. Since its domestication ca. 12,000 years ago, humans have profoundly influenced its evolution. In the more recent past, breeding via cross‐hybridization and the selection of progeny with superior end‐use quality have moved from solely phenotyping (e.g., bread baking quality), to a more detailed genetic approach of selecting genes, alleles, and whole‐genome structure for desirable traits. FINDINGS: The present review provides a brief historical summary of wheat improvement for end‐use quality. In the last ~150 years, wheat improvement has benefited from advances in genetics, chemistry and biotechnology. In the past couple decades, rapid advances in DNA and next‐generation sequencing technology have promised a revolution in wheat improvement. The various technologies are reviewed here. CONCLUSIONS: The “future” of wheat improvement may involve the whole‐genome‐based analysis, “genomic selection.” However, to date, the plethora of QTL generated over the recent years have largely remained unused. SIGNIFICANCE AND NOVELTY: Wheat is vital to the survival of humankind, and new cultivars must be continually developed. These cultivars should have high quality for processing and consumer products. An important means of breeding and selecting for high quality is through rapidly evolving genome‐based technologies.