Wild emmer genome architecture and diversity elucidate wheat evolution and domestication

Raz Avni, Moran Nave, Omer Barad, Kobi Baruch, Sven O. Twardziok, Heidrun Gundlach, Iago Hale, Martin Mascher, Manuel Spannagl, Krystalee Wiebe, Katherine W. Jordan, Guy Golan, Jasline Deek, Batsheva Ben-Zvi, Gil Ben-Zvi, Axel Himmelbach, Ron P. Maclachlan, Andrew G. Sharpe, Allan Fritz, Roi Ben-DavidHikmet Budak, Tzion Fahima, Abraham Korol, Justin D. Faris, Alvaro Hernandez, Mark A. Mikel, Avraham A. Levy, Brian Steffenson, Marco Maccaferri, Roberto Tuberosa, Luigi Cattivelli, Primetta Faccioli, Aldo Ceriotti, Khalil Kashkush, Mohammad Pourkheirandish, Takao Komatsuda, Tamar Eilam, Hanan Sela, Amir Sharon, Nir Ohad, Daniel A. Chamovitz, Klaus F.X. Mayer, Nils Stein, Gil Ronen, Zvi Peleg, Curtis J. Pozniak, Eduard D. Akhunov, Assaf Distelfeld*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wheat (Triticum spp.) is one of the founder crops that likely drove the Neolithic transition to sedentary agrarian societies in the Fertile Crescent more than 10,000 years ago. Identifying genetic modifications underlying wheat’s domestication requires knowledge about the genome of its allo-tetraploid progenitor, wild emmer (T. turgidum ssp. dicoccoides).We report a 10.1-gigabase assembly of the 14 chromosomes of wild tetraploid wheat, as well as analyses of gene content, genome architecture, and genetic diversity. With this fully assembled polyploid wheat genome, we identified the causal mutations in Brittle Rachis 1 (TtBtr1) genes controlling shattering, a key domestication trait. A study of genomic diversity among wild and domesticated accessions revealed genomic regions bearing the signature of selection under domestication. This reference assembly will serve as a resource for accelerating the genome-assisted improvement of modern wheat varieties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
Issue number6346
StatePublished - 7 Jul 2017


FundersFunder number
Italian Ministry of Education and Research Flagship InterOmicsPB05
Saskashewan Ministry of Agriculture and Western Grains Research Foundation
U.S. Agency for International Development Middle East Research and CooperationM34-037
National Institute of Food and Agriculture2016-67013-24473
University of MinnesotaLSYQ00000000
Genome Canada
German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and DevelopmentI-1212-315.13
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation2015409, 2013396
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung031A536, 0314000, 0315954
Israel Science Foundation999/12, 1824/12, 322/15
Tel Aviv University
Genome Prairie


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