Brainfood: Soybean wild relatives, Durum diversity double, Intensifying livestock, Organic soil, Fodder millet, Brachiaria phylogeny, Use bottlenecks, Another spud, Sclerotinia stem rot, Canola resynthesized

by Luigi Guarino on July 31, 2017

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Wood August 1, 2017 at 4:36 pm

Separate domestication of durum wheat in Ethiopia? Interesting to know as to just which Triticum species it was domesticated from. Are there any in Ethiopia?


Luigi Guarino August 1, 2017 at 4:40 pm

More info from the paper:

Ethiopia is known as a “secondary center of durum wheat diversity” (Harlan, 1969; Vavilov, 1992). Landraces from this country have unique morphology (Sakamoto and Fukui, 1972; Porceddu et al., 1973; Pecetti et al., 1992) and represent a separate sub-species under the name T. durum subs. abyssinicum or T. aethiopicum (Mengistu et al., 2015, 2016). Figure 4 clearly shows that this germplasm is distinct from the primary region of origin of durum wheat (Middle-East landraces) with substantially no kinship to it. Furthermore, there is limited admixture between this group and any others. Hence, Ethiopia truly represents a center of diversity for durum wheat, without an evident allelic similarity to the primary origin in the Levantine, as also suggested by several other authors (Sakamoto and Fukui, 1972; Porceddu et al., 1973; Pecetti et al., 1992). The lack of allelic similarity between the two centers of diversity can be due to adoption in Ethiopia of a population of landraces from the Middle East that was genetically different from those that can be found there today (founder-migration effect), or as a separate domestication of T. dicoccum to T. durum.


Carlo Fadda August 3, 2017 at 7:28 am

Indeed an interesting theory. We were coming to a very similar conclusion on our previous paper but we did not have full geographic representation. The diversity of Ethiopian durum wheat at the molecular level is stunning.


Dave Wood August 2, 2017 at 6:01 pm

Thanks Luigi – I think the `secondary centre of diversity’ is a bit of a side issue: very obviously Ethiopia is such for several or even many crops. The `separate domestication’ is the key. Emmer itself seems to have been domesticated from the wild several times in different places, but this is different – a distinct crop (free-threshing one-seeded emmer?) being `domesticated’ – perhaps not the right word – from different populations of an existing domesticate. No reason at all why it shouldn’t happen.
Van Slageren has the lot as sub-species of Triticum turgidum – subsp. dicoccoides as wild emmer; subsp. dicoccon as cultivated emmer; and subsp. durum as durum. Naked barley is probably similar. I suppose it depends on taxonomic rank and just what is the level of domestication – about which I argue that `normal’ barley is hardly domesticated at all, with invested seed and vicious seed-burying awns (I got a barley awn-base penetrating under my tongue and there for two weeks once. Agony). Interesting and nice to see a lot more effort going into Ethiopian germplasm.


Carlo Fadda August 3, 2017 at 7:30 am

Genome Wide Association Study to Identify the Genetic Base of Smallholder Farmer Preferences of Durum Wheat Traits. Farmers know what they’re talking about. No word on any overlap with above. Incidentally, genotyped on the Infinium 90K wheat chip at TraitGenetics (Gatersleben, Germany). There’s a coincidence!

They were completely separate study and were not aware of it until it came out. The use of the same platform is truly a pure coincidence.


Luigi Guarino August 3, 2017 at 7:53 am

I think a little bit more coordination across the CGIAR on this kind of issue would be useful. It would have meant that the studies would have been more comparable. And who knows, maybe a lower price might have been negotiated.


Jacob van Etten August 8, 2017 at 11:03 pm

And maybe that lower cost would have compensated the cost of coordination.



Luigi Guarino August 9, 2017 at 8:16 am

Maybe. The first time.


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