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Sources of seed coat colour variation in certification-candidate wheat seed

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Kernel colour is a key factor in determining grade and class of wheat and is dependent on the number of red R-1 homoeoalleles. In certified seed programmes, samples are inspected during the certification process for presence and number of seeds exhibiting off-type colouring. Exceeding limits for colour variants results in loss of certification. To determine if admixtures of genetically distinct varieties were the primary cause for colour variation in the Washington certified seed programme, normal and suspected off-type seeds from rejected seed lots were digitally photographed, grown and genotyped at the R-1 homoeoloci. Additional genetic marker analysis was completed to determine variety purity. Results implied three primary sources for seeds of off-type colour. The first and major source found was admixtures of genetically different varieties. The second source was true-to-type varieties that were heterogeneous and heterozygous at one or more R-1 homoeolocus, indicating active colour segregation. The last source of variation was attributed to unknown environmental interactions in genetically pure samples. These findings highlight the precaution and care needed in the breeding and seed production processes to limit admixtures, and also suggest that current certification tests and procedures are not completely accurate in determining variety purity.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2014

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  • Seed Science and Technology (SST) is one of the leading international journals featuring original papers and review articles on seed quality and physiology as related to seed production, harvest, processing, sampling, storage, distribution and testing. This widely recognised journal is designed to meet the needs of researchers, advisers and all those involved in the improvement and technical control of seed quality.
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