Evolutionary agriculture domestication of wild emmer wheat

Junhua Peng, Zhiyong Liu, Xionglun Liu, Jun Yan, Dongfa Sun, Eviatar Nevo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In the world agriculture and civilization, wheat is one of the most important crops. The major factor underlying human civilization is domestication of plants and animals. Cultivated wheat includes the hexaploid bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) and the tetraploid durum wheat (Triticum durum). About 10, 000 years ago, T. aestivum derived from a cross between domesticated emmer (Triticum dicoccum) and the goat grass Aegilops tauschii. Wild emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccoides) is the progenitor of cultivated wheat and has played core role to wheat domestication that has genetically not only transformed the brittle rachis, tenacious glume and nonfree threshability but also modified yield and yield components. T. dicoccoides harbors many useful genes conferring many agronomic traits, abiotic stress tolerances, biotic stress resistances, grain protein content, processing quality, and micronutrient mineral concentrations. Domestication of T. dicoccoides is actually related with a few chromosome regions or domestication syndrome factors. Whole genome sequences of T. dicoccoides and other Triticum species could be helpful for isolation of genes controlling important traits. However, the majority of genetic resources in T. dicoccoides still remain untapped. The large number of molecular markers, fully annotated genome sequences, and efficient cloning techniques will greatly accelerate application of T. dicoccoides germplasm to wheat improvement programs and ensure sustainability of global wheat production.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Horizons in Evolution
Number of pages63
ISBN (Electronic)9780323907521
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Agricultural civilization
  • Agronomic trait
  • Crop improvement
  • Evolutionary domestication
  • Genome sequence
  • Molecular marker
  • Triticum dicoccoides
  • Wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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