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BBSRC CTP Mondelez: Understanding protein impact on soft wheat flour functionality: identification of protein markers for soft wheat breeding.

Project Description

Milling wheat is categorised into two commercial classes, soft and hard, according to the milling energy required to produce the flour. Soft wheat requires lower energy input during milling and produces flour with low starch damage, which is ideal for the production of bakery products such as biscuits and crackers. The quality of different soft wheat products is underpinned by different protein networking characteristics of soft wheat. For example, the formation of a cohesive network through oxidative gelation in bakery products containing large sugar concentrations, such as sugar-snap cookies, contains batter flow and cookie spread, but the formation of larger gluten polymer sizes can severely limit dough spread and/or cause excessive shrinking, compromising cookie size and shape. Furthermore, other products made with soft flours, such as crackers, require the formation of a strong gluten in order to achieve the desired shape and organoleptic characteristics. This project seeks to identify specific gluten protein subunits/clusters responsible for the formation of either extensible or strong/elastic gluten in a soft wheat background. This will be achieved via characterization of a population of soft wheat lines expected to have a high degree of variability at the loci encoding for gluten proteins using industry standard flour and dough functionality prediction tests and protein compositional characterization. Expressions of interest are invited for PhD applications with a background in plant science and a strong interest in wheat processing quality and genetic research.
The applicant must hold or about to hold a BSc(Hons) 2:1 or above or a Masters in a relevant subject.

Funding Notes

The student would take full advantage of the collaboration with Mondelez by taking up a placement during their studentship. • The placement is a compulsory and integral part of the training and must be a minimum of 3 months during the four year period of the studentship, not normally exceeding 18 months. Information on BBSRC funding can be found here: View Website

Please apply on the University of Reading website for a PhD in Crop Sciences, stating the project title. Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Paola Tosi

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