Photosynthetic performance in wild emmer wheat, Triticum dicoccoides: ecological and genetic predictability

E. Nevo, B. F. Carver, A. Beiles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a twin study, we have shown that wild emmer wheat, Triticum dicoccoides, the progenitor of all cultivated wheats, harbours important genetic variation (Vg) in photosynthetic characteristics. This Vg resides within and between populations and ecogeographical regions in Israel, which is the center of origin and diversity of wild emmer wheat. Here we analyzed, by univariate and multivariate methods, the significant differentiation of variation in photosynthetic characteristics of 107 genotypes from 27 populations of wild emmer in Israel, distributed in three ecogeographical regions including central, xeric (northern cold and eastern warm) marginal, and mesic (western) marginal populations. The highest photosynthetic efficiency was displayed by populations of the xeric marginal region, but most variation for photosynthetic capacity occurs between accessions within ecogeographical regions and populations. Genotypes and populations of T. dicoccoides having high photosynthetic capacity can be identified by climatic factors and isozyme markers. The identification by genetic markers, if substantiated by testcrosses, can facilitate the maximization of conservation, in situ or ex situ, and utilization of these photosynthetic genetic resources for improvement of hexaploid wheat (T. aestivum).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-460
Number of pages16
JournalTheoretical And Applied Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1991


  • Allozyme polymorphisms
  • Genetic resources
  • Natural selection
  • Photosynthesis
  • Triticum Dicoccoides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics


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