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Distinguishing between Bread Wheat and Spelt Grains Using Molecular Markers and Spectroscopy

Curzon, A. Y., Chandrasekhar, K., Nashef, Y. K., Abbo, S., Bonfil, D. J., Reifen, R., Bar-el, S., Avneri, A., Ben-David, R.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2019 v.67 no.13 pp. 3837-3841
Triticum aestivum subsp. spelta, bakery industry, diagnostic techniques, genes, genetic markers, genotyping, models, near-infrared spectroscopy, phenotype, seeds, wheat
The increasing demand for spelt products requires the baking industry to develop accurate and efficient tools to differentiate between spelt and bread wheat grains. We subjected a 272-sample spelt-bread wheat set to several potential diagnostic methods. DNA markers for γ-gliadin-D (GAG56D), γ-gliadin-B (GAG56B), and the Q-gene were used, alongside phenotypic assessment of ease-of-threshing and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). The GAG56B and GAG56D markers demonstrated low diagnostic power in comparison to the Q-gene genotyping, which showed full accordance with the threshing phenotype, providing a highly accurate distinction between bread wheat and spelt kernels. A highly reliable Q classification was based on a three-waveband NIR model [Kappa (0.97), R-square (0.93)], which suggested that this gene influences grain characteristics. Our data ruled out a protein concentration bias of the NIRS-based diagnosis. These findings highlight the Q gene and NIRS as important, valuable, but simple tools for distinguishing between bread wheat and spelt.