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Theor Appl Genet. 2004 Jan;108(2):360-7. Epub 2003 Oct 16.

About the origin of European spelt ( Triticum spelta L.): allelic differentiation of the HMW Glutenin B1-1 and A1-2 subunit genes.

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Institut für Prähistorische und Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie, Universität Basel, Spalenring 145, 4055, Basel, Switzerland.


To investigate the origin of European spelt ( Triticum spelta L., genome AABBDD) and its relation to bread wheat ( Triticum aestivum L., AABBDD), we analysed an approximately 1-kb sequence, including a part of the promoter and the coding region, of the high-molecular-weight (HMW) glutenin B1-1 and A1-2 subunit genes in 58 accessions of hexa- and tetraploid wheat from different geographical regions. Six Glu-B1-1 and five Glu-A1-2 alleles were identified based on 21 and 19 informative sites, respectively, which suggests a polyphyletic origin of the A- and B-genomes of hexaploid wheat. In both genes, a group of alleles clustered in a distinct, so-called beta subclade. High frequencies of alleles from the Glu-B1-1 and Glu-A1-2 beta subclades differentiated European spelt from Asian spelt and bread wheat. This indicates different origins of European and Asian spelt, and that European spelt does not derive from the hulled progenitors of bread wheat. The conjoint differentiation of alleles of the A- and B-genome in European spelt suggests the introgression of a tetraploid wheat into free-threshing hexaploid wheat as the origin of European spelt.

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