SNP-revealed genetic diversity in wild emmer wheat correlates with ecological factors

Jing Ren, Liang Chen, Daokun Sun, Frank M. You, Jirui Wang, Yunliang Peng, Eviatar Nevo, Avigdor Beiles, Dongfa Sun, Ming Cheng Luo, Junhua Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Patterns of genetic diversity between and within natural plant populations and their driving forces are of great interest in evolutionary biology. However, few studies have been performed on the genetic structure and population divergence in wild emmer wheat using a large number of EST-related single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. Results: In the present study, twenty-five natural wild emmer wheat populations representing a wide range of ecological conditions in Israel and Turkey were used. Genetic diversity and genetic structure were investigated using over 1,000 SNP markers. A moderate level of genetic diversity was detected due to the biallelic property of SNP markers. Clustering based on Bayesian model showed that grouping pattern is related to the geographical distribution of the wild emmer wheat. However, genetic differentiation between populations was not necessarily dependent on the geographical distances. A total of 33 outlier loci under positive selection were identified using a F ST-outlier method. Significant correlations between loci and ecogeographical factors were observed. Conclusions: Natural selection appears to play a major role in generating adaptive structures in wild emmer wheat. SNP markers are appropriate for detecting selectively-channeled adaptive genetic diversity in natural populations of wild emmer wheat. This adaptive genetic diversity is significantly associated with ecological factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number169
JournalBMC Evolutionary Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are greatly indebted to the two anonymous reviewers for their critical, helpful and constructive comments on this manuscript. We also sincerely thank Ms. Robin Permut, English editor in the Institute of Evolution at University of Haifa, for her professionally editing the manuscript. This work was supported by the China National Science Foundation (NSFC) Grant Nos. 31030055 and 30870233, China National Special Program for Development of Transgenic Plant & Animal New Cultivars (Development of transgenic quality wheat germplasm with soft & weak gluten, and Development of transgenic wheat new cultivars with resistance against rust diseases and powdery mildew), Chinese Academy of Sciences under the Important Directional Program of Knowledge Innovation Project Grant No. KSCX2-YW -Z-0722, the CAS Strategic Priority Research Program Grant No. XDA05130403, the “973” National Key Basic Research Program Grant No. 2009CB118300, and the Ancell Teicher Research Foundation for Genetics and Molecular Evolution.


  • Adaptive genetic diversity
  • Natural selection
  • Population structure
  • SNP marker
  • Triticum dicoccoides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


Dive into the research topics of 'SNP-revealed genetic diversity in wild emmer wheat correlates with ecological factors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this