The Aegilops tauschii genome reveals multiple impacts of transposons

Nat Plants. 2017 Dec;3(12):946-955. doi: 10.1038/s41477-017-0067-8. Epub 2017 Nov 20.


Wheat is an important global crop with an extremely large and complex genome that contains more transposable elements (TEs) than any other known crop species. Here, we generated a chromosome-scale, high-quality reference genome of Aegilops tauschii, the donor of the wheat D genome, in which 92.5% sequences have been anchored to chromosomes. Using this assembly, we accurately characterized genic loci, gene expression, pseudogenes, methylation, recombination ratios, microRNAs and especially TEs on chromosomes. In addition to the discovery of a wave of very recent gene duplications, we detected that TEs occurred in about half of the genes, and found that such genes are expressed at lower levels than those without TEs, presumably because of their elevated methylation levels. We mapped all wheat molecular markers and constructed a high-resolution integrated genetic map corresponding to genome sequences, thereby placing previously detected agronomically important genes/quantitative trait loci (QTLs) on the Ae. tauschii genome for the first time.

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Plant
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genetic Markers / genetics
  • Genome, Plant*
  • Poaceae / genetics*
  • Quantitative Trait Loci


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Genetic Markers