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Wild emmer: genetic resources, gene mapping and potential for wheat improvement

Xie, Weilong, Nevo, Eviatar
Euphytica 2008 v.164 no.3 pp. 603-614
Triticum turgidum subsp. dicoccoides, genes, agronomic traits, salt tolerance, drought tolerance, heat tolerance, disease resistance, powdery mildew, rust diseases, scab diseases, protein content, crop quality, chromosome mapping, introgression, plant breeding, interspecific hybridization, marker-assisted selection, nutrient content, mineral content, plant genetic resources, wild relatives
Wild emmer, Triticum dicoccoides, the progenitor of cultivated wheat, harbors rich genetic resources for wheat improvement. They include many agronomic traits such as abiotic stress tolerances (salt, drought and heat), biotic stress tolerances (powdery mildew, rusts, and Fusarium head blight), grain protein quality and quantity, and micronutrient concentrations (Zn, Fe, and Mn). In this review, we summarize (1) traits and controlling genes identified and mapped in T. dicoccoides; and (2) the genes transferred to cultivated wheat from T. dicoccoides. These genes, controlling important agronomic traits such as disease resistance, high protein and micronutrient content, should contribute to wheat production and food nutrition. However, most of the rich genetic reservoir in wild emmer remains untapped, highlighting the need for further exploration and utilization for long-term wheat breeding programs.