High molecular weight glutenin gene diversity in Aegilops tauschii demonstrates unique origin of superior wheat quality.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-02563-7
Central to the diversity of wheat products was the origin of hexaploid bread wheat, which added the D-genome of Aegilops tauschii to tetraploid wheat giving rise to superior dough properties in leavened breads. The polyploidization, however, imposed a genetic bottleneck, with only limited diversity introduced in the wheat D-subgenome. To understand genetic variants for quality, we sequenced 273 accessions spanning the known diversity of Ae. tauschii. We discovered 45 haplotypes in Glu-D1, a major determinant of quality, relative to the two predominant haplotypes in wheat. The wheat allele 2 + 12 was found in Ae. tauschii Lineage 2, the donor of the wheat D-subgenome. Conversely, the superior quality wheat allele 5 + 10 allele originated in Lineage 3, a recently characterized lineage of Ae. tauschii, showing a unique origin of this important allele. These two wheat alleles were also quite similar relative to the total observed molecular diversity in Ae. tauschii at Glu-D1. Ae. tauschii is thus a reservoir for unique Glu-D1 alleles and provides the genomic resource to begin utilizing new alleles for end-use quality improvement in wheat breeding programs.