It is widely believed that hexaploid wheat originated via hybridization of hulled tetraploid emmer with Aegilops tauschii (genomes DD) and that the nascent hexaploid was spelt, from which free-threshing wheat evolved by mutations. To reassess the role of spelt in the evolution of Triticum aestivum, 4 disomic substitution lines of Ae. tauschii chromosome 2D in Chinese Spring wheat were developed and one of them was used to map the Tg locus, which controls glume tenacity in Ae. tauschii, relative to simple sequence repeat (SSR) and expressed sequence tag loci on wheat chromosome 2D. The segregation of SSR markers was used to assess the presence of Tg alleles in 11 accessions of spelt, both from Europe and from Asia. Ten of them had an inactive tg allele in the D genome and most had an active Tg allele in the B genome. This is consistent with spelt being derived from free-threshing hexaploid wheat by hybridization of free-threshing wheat with hulled emmer. It is proposed that the tetraploid parent of hexaploid wheat was not hulled emmer but a free-threshing form of tetraploid wheat.