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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported by Israel Science Foundation (grants 999/12, 1824/12, 322/15), the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF) grant I-1212-315.13, Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc. (IDT), the United States?Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF grants 2013396 and 2015409), USDA NIFA (National Institute of Food and Agriculture) (grant 2016-67013-24473), German Ministry of Education and Research (grants 0314000, 0315954, 031A536), Genome Canada and Genome Prairie, Saskashewan Ministry of Agriculture and Western Grains Research Foundation (CTAG2 project), U.S. Agency for International Development Middle East Research and Cooperation (grant M34-037), Italian Ministry of Education and Research Flagship InterOmics (PB05), and CREA-interomics projects. Additional support was funded from the Manna Center Program for Food Safety and Security in Tel Aviv University, Montana Plant Sciences endowment, the Lieberman-Okinow endowment at the University of Minnesota, and the Charles and Tillie Lubin Center for Plant Biotechnology at the Weizmann Institute. We thank O. Savin, I. Hamerman, A. Fiebig, and C. Wright. The WEW sequence (GenBank: LSYQ00000000) and all other WEW genomic resources can be accessed at http://wewseq.wixsite.com/consortium.