Domestication quantitative trait loci in Triticum dicoccoides, the progenitor of wheat.
ABSTRACT: 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.
Project description:Wild emmer wheat, Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides is the wild relative of Triticum turgidum, the progenitor of durum and bread wheat, and maintains a rich allelic diversity among its wild populations. The lack of adequate genetic and genomic resources, however, restricts its exploitation in wheat improvement. Here, we report next-generation sequencing of the flow-sorted chromosome 5B of T. dicoccoides to shed light into its genome structure, function and organization by exploring the repetitive elements, protein-encoding genes and putative microRNA and tRNA coding sequences. Comparative analyses with its counterparts in modern and wild wheats suggest clues into the B-genome evolution. Syntenic relationships of chromosome 5B with the model grasses can facilitate further efforts for fine-mapping of traits of interest. Mapping of 5B sequences onto the root transcriptomes of two additional T. dicoccoides genotypes, with contrasting drought tolerances, revealed several thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms, of which 584 shared polymorphisms on 228 transcripts were specific to the drought-tolerant genotype. To our knowledge, this study presents the largest genomics resource currently available for T. dicoccoides, which, we believe, will encourage the exploitation of its genetic and genomic potential for wheat improvement to meet the increasing demand to feed the world.
Project description:Wild emmer wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides) is the progenitor of wheat. We performed chromosome-based survey sequencing of the 14 chromosomes, examining repetitive sequences, protein-coding genes, miRNA/target pairs and tRNA genes, as well as syntenic relationships with related grasses. We found considerable differences in the content and distribution of repetitive sequences between the A and B subgenomes. The gene contents of individual chromosomes varied widely, not necessarily correlating with chromosome size. We catalogued candidate agronomically important loci, along with new alleles and flanking sequences that can be used to design exome sequencing. Syntenic relationships and virtual gene orders revealed several small-scale evolutionary rearrangements, in addition to providing evidence for the 4AL-5AL-7BS translocation in wild emmer wheat. Chromosome-based sequence assemblies contained five novel miRNA families, among 59 families putatively encoded in the entire genome which provide insight into the domestication of wheat and an overview of the genome content and organization.
Project description:The composition of the plant microbiota may be altered by ecological and evolutionary changes in the host population. Seed-associated microbiota, expected to be largely vertically transferred, have the potential to coadapt with their host over generations. Strong directional selection and changes in the genetic composition of plants during domestication and cultivation may have impacted the assembly and transmission of seed-associated microbiota. Nonetheless, the effect of plant speciation and domestication on the composition of these microbes is poorly understood. Here, we have investigated the composition of bacteria and fungi associated with the wild emmer wheat (<i>Triticum dicoccoides</i>) and domesticated bread wheat (<i>Triticum aestivum</i>). We show that vertically transmitted bacteria, but not fungi, of domesticated bread wheat species <i>T. aestivum</i> are less diverse and more inconsistent among individual plants compared to those of the wild emmer wheat species <i>T. dicoccoides.</i> We propagated wheat seeds under sterile conditions to characterize the colonization of seedlings by seed-associated microbes. Hereby, we show markedly different community compositions and diversities of leaf and root colonizers of the domesticated bread wheat compared to the wild emmer wheat. By propagating the wild emmer wheat and domesticated bread wheat in two different soils, we furthermore reveal a small effect of plant genotype on microbiota assembly. Our results suggest that domestication and prolonged breeding have impacted the vertically transferred bacteria, but only to a lesser extent have affected the soil-derived microbiota of bread wheat.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> Genetic and physiological changes associated with plant domestication have been studied for many crop species. Still little is known about the impact of domestication on the plant-associated microbiota. In this study, we analyze the seed-associated and soil-derived bacterial and fungal microbiota of domesticated bread wheat and wild emmer wheat. We show a significant difference in the seed-associated, but not soil-derived, bacterial communities of the wheat species. Interestingly, we find less pronounced effects on the fungal communities. Overall, this study provides novel insight into the diversity of vertically transmitted microbiota of wheat and thereby contributes to our understanding of wheat as a "metaorganism." Insight into the wheat microbiota is of fundamental importance for the development of improved crops.
Project description:Wild emmer wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides) is considered a promising source for improving stress resistances in domesticated wheat. Here we explored the potential of selected quantitative trait loci (QTLs) from wild emmer wheat, introgressed via marker-assisted selection, to enhance drought resistance in elite durum (T. turgidum ssp. durum) and bread (T. aestivum) wheat cultivars. The resultant near-isogenic lines (BC3F3 and BC3F4) were genotyped using SNP array to confirm the introgressed genomic regions and evaluated in two consecutive years under well-watered (690-710 mm) and water-limited (290-320 mm) conditions. Three of the introgressed QTLs were successfully validated, two in the background of durum wheat cv. Uzan (on chromosomes 1BL and 2BS), and one in the background of bread wheat cvs. Bar Nir and Zahir (chromosome 7AS). In most cases, the QTL x environment interaction was validated in terms of improved grain yield and biomass-specifically under drought (7AS QTL in cv. Bar Nir background), under both treatments (2BS QTL), and a greater stability across treatments (1BL QTL). The results provide a first demonstration that introgression of wild emmer QTL alleles can enhance productivity and yield stability across environments in domesticated wheat, thereby enriching the modern gene pool with essential diversity for the improvement of drought resistance.
Project description:Roots adaptation to drought stress was analyzed using transcriptome and metabolomics profiles in two wild emmer wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides) genotypes: Y12-3 (drought resistance) and A24-39 (drought susceptible). Overall design: Roots samples of Y12-3 and A24-39 genotypes grown under well-watered (control) and water-stressed (7 days of withholding water) were collected for RNA extraction and hybridization on Affymetrix wheat microarrays chip.
Project description:Although the wheat A genomes have been intensively studied over past decades, many questions concerning the mechanisms of their divergence and evolution still remain unsolved. In the present study we performed comparative analysis of the A genome chromosomes in diploid (Triticum urartu Tumanian ex Gandilyan, 1972, Triticum boeoticum Boissier, 1874 and Triticum monococcum Linnaeus, 1753) and polyploid wheat species representing two evolutionary lineages, Timopheevi (Triticum timopheevii (Zhukovsky) Zhukovsky, 1934 and Triticum zhukovskyi Menabde & Ericzjan, 1960) and Emmer (Triticum dicoccoides (Körnicke ex Ascherson & Graebner) Schweinfurth, 1908, Triticum durum Desfontaines, 1798, and Triticum aestivum Linnaeus, 1753) using a new cytogenetic marker - the pTm30 probe cloned from Triticum monococcum genome and containing (GAA)56 microsatellite sequence. Up to four pTm30 sites located on 1AS, 5AS, 2AS, and 4AL chromosomes have been revealed in the wild diploid species, although most accessions contained one-two (GAA)n sites. The domesticated diploid species Triticum monococcum differs from the wild diploid species by almost complete lack of polymorphism in the distribution of (GAA)n site. Only one (GAA)n site in the 4AL chromosome has been found in Triticum monococcum. Among three wild emmer (Triticum dicoccoides) accessions we detected 4 conserved and 9 polymorphic (GAA)n sites in the A genome. The (GAA)n loci on chromosomes 2AS, 4AL, and 5AL found in of Triticum dicoccoides were retained in Triticum durum and Triticum aestivum. In species of the Timopheevi lineage, the only one, large (GAA)n site has been detected in the short arm of 6A(t) chromosome. (GAA)n site observed in Triticum monococcum are undetectable in the A(b) genome of Triticum zhukovskyi, this site could be eliminated over the course of amphiploidization, while the species was established. We also demonstrated that changes in the distribution of (GAA)n sequence on the A-genome chromosomes of diploid and polyploid wheats are associated with chromosomal rearrangements/ modifications, involving mainly the NOR (nucleolus organizer region)-bearing chromosomes, that took place during the evolution of wild and domesticated species.
Project description:The genus Triticum includes bread (Triticum aestivum) and durum wheat (Triticum durum) and constitutes a major source for human food consumption. Drought is currently the leading threat on world's food supply, limiting crop yield, and is complicated since drought tolerance is a quantitative trait with a complex phenotype affected by the plant's developmental stage. Drought tolerance is crucial to stabilize and increase food production since domestication has limited the genetic diversity of crops including wild wheat, leading to cultivated species, adapted to artificial environments, and lost tolerance to drought stress. Improvement for drought tolerance can be achieved by the introduction of drought-grelated genes and QTLs to modern wheat cultivars. Therefore, identification of candidate molecules or loci involved in drought tolerance is necessary, which is undertaken by "omics" studies and QTL mapping. In this sense, wild counterparts of modern varieties, specifically wild emmer wheat (T. dicoccoides), which are highly tolerant to drought, hold a great potential. Prior to their introgression to modern wheat cultivars, drought related candidate genes are first characterized at the molecular level, and their function is confirmed via transgenic studies. After integration of the tolerance loci, specific environment targeted field trials are performed coupled with extensive analysis of morphological and physiological characteristics of developed cultivars, to assess their performance under drought conditions and their possible contributions to yield in certain regions. This paper focuses on recent advances on drought related gene/QTL identification, studies on drought related molecular pathways, and current efforts on improvement of wheat cultivars for drought tolerance.
Project description:Following allopolyploidization, nascent polyploid wheat species react with massive genomic rearrangements, including deletion of transposable element-containing sequences. While such massive rearrangements are considered to be a prominent process in wheat genome evolution and speciation, their structure, extent, and underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. In this study, we retrieved ~3500 insertions of a specific variant of Fatima, one of the most dynamic gypsy long-terminal repeat retrotransposons in wheat from the recently available high-quality genome drafts of Triticum aestivum (bread wheat) and Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides or wild emmer, the allotetraploid mother of all modern wheats. The dynamic nature of Fatima facilitated the identification of large (i.e., up to ~ 1 million bases) Fatima-containing insertions/deletions (indels) upon comparison of bread wheat and wild emmer genomes. We characterized 11 such indels using computer-assisted analysis followed by PCR validation, and found that they might have occurred via unequal intra-strand recombination or double-strand break (DSB) events. Additionally, we observed one case of introgression of novel DNA fragments from an unknown source into the wheat genome. Our data thus indicate that massive large-scale DNA rearrangements might play a prominent role in wheat speciation.
Project description:Grain protein content (GPC) and yield are of two important traits in wheat, but their negative correlation has hampered their simultaneous improvement in conventional breeding. Wild emmer wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides) is an important genetic resource for wheat quality improvement. In this study, we report a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using 13116 DArT-seq markers to characterize GPC in 161 wheat lines derived from wild emmer. Using a general linear model, we identified 141 markers that were significantly associated with GPC, and grouped into 48 QTL regions. Using both general linear model and mixed linear model, we identified four significant markers that were grouped into two novel QTL regions on chromosomes 2BS (QGpc.cd1-2B.1) and 7BL (QGpc.cd1-7B.2). The two QTLs have no negative effects on thousand kernel weight (TKW) and should be useful for simultaneous improvement of GPC and TKW in wheat breeding. Searches of public databases revealed 61 putative candidate/flanking genes related to GPC. The putative proteins of interest were grouped in four main categories: enzymes, kinase proteins, metal transport-related proteins, and disease resistance proteins. The linked markers and associated candidate genes provide essential information for cloning genes related to high GPC and performing marker-assisted breeding in wheat.
Project description:We used genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) to investigate the evolutionary history of domesticated tetraploid wheats. With a panel of 189 wild and domesticated wheats, we identified 1,172,469 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with a read depth ?3. Principal component analyses (PCAs) separated the Triticum turgidum and Triticum timopheevii accessions, as well as wild T. turgidum from the domesticated emmers and the naked wheats, showing that SNP typing by GBS is capable of providing robust information on the genetic relationships between wheat species and subspecies. The PCAs and a neighbour-joining analysis suggested that domesticated tetraploid wheats have closest affinity with wild emmers from the northern Fertile Crescent, consistent with the results of previous genetic studies on the origins of domesticated wheat. However, a more detailed examination of admixture and allele sharing between domesticates and different wild populations, along with genome-wide association studies (GWAS), showed that the domesticated tetraploid wheats have also received a substantial genetic input from wild emmers from the southern Levant. Taking account of archaeological evidence that tetraploid wheats were first cultivated in the southern Levant, we suggest that a pre-domesticated crop spread from this region to southeast Turkey and became mixed with a wild emmer population from the northern Fertile Crescent. Fixation of the domestication traits in this mixed population would account for the allele sharing and GWAS results that we report. We also propose that feralization of the component of the pre-domesticated population that did not acquire domestication traits has resulted in the modern wild population from southeast Turkey displaying features of both the domesticates and wild emmer from the southern Levant, and hence appearing to be the sole progenitor of domesticated tetraploids when the phylogenetic relationships are studied by methods that assume a treelike pattern of evolution.