We interviewed Jose Miguel Soriano, researcher at IRTA – Institute for Agrifood Research and Technology
Tell us briefly about your professional career
My professional career has focused on the identification of molecular markers for the location of traits of interest in breeding, resistance to diseases in fruit trees (sharka virus in apricots, mottle in apple trees), flowering in maize, and tolerance to drought. and quality in wheat, both flour and durum. An important part of my research is related to the use of plant genetic resources for the improvement of the characters of interest.
What is the specialty of your research?
Genetic improvement at the molecular level, which includes from genetic mapping and development of molecular markers to the identification of genes of interest.
Where do you think wheat quality research is headed? What do you think is the future?
As for other traits, the development of high-yield improved varieties has caused a reduction in genetic variability for the various quality-related traits. From this point of view, the use of genetic resources, mainly those abandoned in the improvement process, will be essential in the research and development of new varieties that increase the quality of wheat.
What do you think congresses like the International Gluten Workshop – IGW can contribute?
Give visibility to an important part of wheat research, such as the increase in quality, which is often masked by other traits such as resistance to diseases and climate change. In addition, it is a good opportunity to convey to the general public the importance of quality and avoid the "bad press" (or fashions) related to gluten.
What do you think would be necessary to develop regarding the quality of wheat?
Apart from investing in research, which is crucial for improvement, it is very important to disseminate to the general public the nutritional benefits of developing new varieties that increase quality parameters.