Development of blue wheat derived from wild species Thinopyrum intermedium


Cao W, Humphreys G, Fedak G, McCallum B, Fetch T, Sun Y, Fregeau-Reid J (2016) Development of blue wheat derived from wild species Thinopyron intermedium. Proc 3rd Canadian Wheat Symposium, Ottawa, Nov 22-25, P37.


Blue wheat has blue pigments located in the aleurone layer of wheat grains. Previous research has shown that blue wheat contains high levels of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins have been recognized as health-enhancing substances due to their antioxidant activity, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and hypoglycemic effects. The objective of this study was to develop novel germplasm using wide crosses between T. aestivum L. and Th. intermedium. The cross Crocus / 08-47-50 was made at the Ottawa Research Centre. Crocus is a hexaploid wheat with genome AABBDD, while 08-47-50 is a partial amphiploid with genome AABBEE, generated by crossing durum wheat (AABB) with Th. intermedium. The F1 hybrid was advanced to F4 generation using a single-seed descent (SSD) method, and 155 lines were obtained. At the F4 generation, a wheat plant with a mixture of blue and red colour kernels was found. Sixty blue color seeds were selected from this wheat plant and advanced to the F7 generation. Twenty-one F7 lines with blue colour kernels were selected based on fertility and evaluated for leaf rust, stem rust, and stripe rust resistance. The results indicated that five out of 21 lines were resistant to stem rust race TTKSK (Ug99) and five lines were resistant to stripe rust race YR6. None of them were resistant to leaf rust. Cytological study indicated that the blue color lines all had 42 chromosomes. The long-term goal is to release blue coloured wheat germplasm with multiple disease resistance for use in wheat breeding programs.

Publication date


Author profiles