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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Mar 4;100(5):2489-94. Epub 2003 Feb 25.

Domestication quantitative trait loci in Triticum dicoccoides, the progenitor of wheat.

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Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel.


Wild emmer wheat, Triticum dicoccoides, is the progenitor of modern tetraploid and hexaploid cultivated wheats. Our objective was to map domestication-related quantitative trait loci (QTL) in T. dicoccoides. The studied traits include brittle rachis, heading date, plant height, grain size, yield, and yield components. Our mapping population was derived from a cross between T. dicoccoides and Triticum durum. Approximately 70 domestication QTL effects were detected, nonrandomly distributed among and along chromosomes. Seven domestication syndrome factors were proposed, each affecting 5-11 traits. We showed: (i) clustering and strong effects of some QTLs; (ii) remarkable genomic association of strong domestication-related QTLs with gene-rich regions; and (iii) unexpected predominance of QTL effects in the A genome. The A genome of wheat may have played a more important role than the B genome during domestication evolution. The cryptic beneficial alleles at specific QTLs derived from T. dicoccoides may contribute to wheat and cereal improvement.

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