Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, Switzerland

Influence of variety and environment on quality traits in organic winter wheat

Measures for improving quality are currently being tested in Swiss wheat production. In cultivation, quality can be influenced by choice of site, management, and variety. In order to investigate the effects of variety and the environment, comprehensive quality tests were performed on 12 varieties in the Organic Wheat Trial Network in 2012 and 2013. It became apparent that many quality traits which are laborious to measure correlated significantly with traits which are easier to measure, while the thousand-kernel weight and the test weight do not correlate significantly with any other trait. For most quality traits, the influence of the genetic effect is greater than that of the environment; hence, breeding and variety choice are very important. The analysis of the interaction showed that under high temperatures during grain filling some varieties yield significantly lower values for important quality traits such as e.g. protein content and tin baking volumes. This different reaction of the varieties correlated significantly with the time of ear emergence. Varieties which reacted to the high temperatures also showed a lower stability for the respective trait. These findings may be helpful for ensuring high-quality Swiss (organic) wheat production once a larger dataset has been validated for the various actors in the value chain.

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