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house mouse (Mus musculus L.) exerts strong differential grain consumption preferences among hard red and white spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) varieties in a single-elimination tournament design

Morris, Craig F., Fuerst, E. Patrick, McLean, Derek J., Momont, Kathleen, James, Caleb P.
Journal of food science 2014 v.79 no.11 pp. S2323
Mus musculus, Triticum aestivum, experimental design, feeding preferences, flavor, grain consumption, hard red spring wheat, hard white wheat, mice, models, parents, quantitative trait loci, sensory evaluation, spring wheat, varieties
Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) plays a central role in the health and nutrition of humans. Yet, little is known about possible flavor differences among different varieties. We have developed a model system using the house mouse (Mus musculus L.) to determine feeding preferences as a prelude to extending results to human sensory analysis. Here, we examine the application of a single-elimination tournament design to the analysis of consumption preferences of a set of hard red and hard white spring wheat varieties. A single-elimination tournament design in this case pairs 2 wheat varieties and only 1 of the 2 is advanced to further tests. Preferred varieties were advanced until an overall “winner” was identified; conversely, less desirable varieties were advanced such that an overall “loser” was identified. Hollis and IDO702 were the winner and loser, respectively, for the hard red varieties, and Clear White 515 and WA8123 were the winner and loser, respectively, for the hard white varieties. When using the more powerful protocol of 14 mice and a 4–d trial, differences in mean daily consumption preferences of 2 varieties were separated at P-values as small as 2 × 10−8. The single-elimination tournament design is an efficient means of identifying the most and least desirable varieties among a larger set of samples. One application for identifying the 2 extremes in preference within a group of varieties would be to use them as parents of a population to identify quantitative trait loci for preference.