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by Luigi Guarino on April 10, 2017

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Wood April 10, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Wild relatives of wheat: one of the four drought stress species, T. urartu, is the AA genome donor to wild emmer (AABB) and hence emmer and T. aestivum (bread wheat AABBDD). Presumably its drought stress is already in the cultivated species. But I’m a bit rusty on wheat genetics.


Luigi Guarino April 10, 2017 at 5:32 pm

All of its drought stress resistance?


Dave Wood April 11, 2017 at 4:37 pm

Luigi: All of the drought stress in the original natural cross, as the entire genome was incorporated. This could have been one cross – like the one that gave us bread wheat, which was a stunner. But it could have been lots of crosses, making wild emmer polyphyletic, as other species. And then there would be a genetic bottleneck between wild emmer and emmer (which probably was polyphyletic). I’ll see if I can find anything on just how many wild species/populations they used at CIMMYT trying to resynthesize bread wheat.
It would probably be better to spend the effort trying for new domesticated species rather than multiple crosses with all available populations of wild relatives of existing crop species (just an opinion). We should be better at domestication now than those early farmers 11,700 years ago (or perhaps not).


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