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Molecular cytogenetic and genomic analyses reveal new insights into the origin of the wheat B genome

Zhang, Wei, Zhang, Mingyi, Zhu, Xianwen, Cao, Yaping, Sun, Qing, Ma, Guojia, Chao, Shiaoman, Yan, Changhui, Xu, StevenS., Cai, Xiwen
Theoretical and applied genetics 2018 v.131 no.2 pp. 365-375
Aegilops speltoides, allopolyploidy, ancestry, chromosomes, genome, genomics, polyphyly, wheat
KEY MESSAGE: This work pinpointed the goatgrass chromosomal segment in the wheat B genome using modern cytogenetic and genomic technologies, and provided novel insights into the origin of the wheat B genome. Wheat is a typical allopolyploid with three homoeologous subgenomes (A, B, and D). The donors of the subgenomes A and D had been identified, but not for the subgenome B. The goatgrass Aegilops speltoides (genome SS) has been controversially considered a possible candidate for the donor of the wheat B genome. However, the relationship of the Ae. speltoides S genome with the wheat B genome remains largely obscure. The present study assessed the homology of the B and S genomes using an integrative cytogenetic and genomic approach, and revealed the contribution of Ae. speltoides to the origin of the wheat B genome. We discovered noticeable homology between wheat chromosome 1B and Ae. speltoides chromosome 1S, but not between other chromosomes in the B and S genomes. An Ae. speltoides-originated segment spanning a genomic region of approximately 10.46 Mb was detected on the long arm of wheat chromosome 1B (1BL). The Ae. speltoides-originated segment on 1BL was found to co-evolve with the rest of the B genome. Evidently, Ae. speltoides had been involved in the origin of the wheat B genome, but should not be considered an exclusive donor of this genome. The wheat B genome might have a polyphyletic origin with multiple ancestors involved, including Ae. speltoides. These novel findings will facilitate genome studies in wheat and other polyploids.