Phylogenetic relationships of Triticum and Aegilops and evidence for the origin of the A, B, and D genomes of common wheat (Triticum aestivum)

Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2006 Apr;39(1):70-82. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2006.01.023. Epub 2006 Feb 28.


Common wheat (Triticum aestivum) has for decades been a textbook example of the evolution of a major crop species by allopolyploidization. Using a sophisticated extension of the PCR technique, we have successfully isolated two single-copy nuclear genes, DMC1 and EF-G, from each of the three genomes found in hexaploid wheat (BA(u)D) and from the two genomes of the tetraploid progenitor Triticum turgidum (BA(u)). By subjecting these sequences to phylogenetic analysis together with sequences from representatives of all the diploid Triticeae genera we are able for the first time to provide simultaneous and strongly supported evidence for the D genome being derived from Aegilops tauschii, the A(u) genome being derived from Triticum urartu, and the hitherto enigmatic B genome being derived from Aegilops speltoides. Previous problems of identifying the B genome donor may be associated with a higher diversification rate of the B genome compared to the A(u) genome in the polyploid wheats. The phylogenetic hypothesis further suggests that neither Triticum, Aegilops, nor Triticum plus Aegilops are monophyletic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genome, Plant*
  • Phylogeny*
  • Poaceae / classification*
  • Poaceae / genetics
  • Triticum / classification*
  • Triticum / genetics