Ancient hybridizations among the ancestral genomes of bread wheat

, Thomas Marcussen, Simen R. Sandve, Lise Heier, Manuel Spannagl, Matthias Pfeifer, Kjetill S. Jakobsen, Brande B. H. Wulff, Burkhard Steuernagel, Klaus F. X. Mayer, Odd-Arne Olsen

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    289 Citations (Scopus)


    The allohexaploid bread wheat genome consists of three closely related subgenomes (A, B, and D), but a clear understanding of their phylogenetic history has been lacking. We used genome assemblies of bread wheat and five diploid relatives to analyze genome-wide samples of gene trees, as well as to estimate evolutionary relatedness and divergence times. We show that the A and B genomes diverged from a common ancestor ~7 million years ago and that these genomes gave rise to the D genome through homoploid hybrid speciation 1 to 2 million years later. Our findings imply that the present-day bread wheat genome is a product of multiple rounds of hybrid speciation (homoploid and polyploid) and lay the foundation for a new framework for understanding the wheat genome as a multilevel phylogenetic mosaic.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1250092
    Number of pages4
    Issue number6194
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2014

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    , Marcussen, T., Sandve, S. R., Heier, L., Spannagl, M., Pfeifer, M., Jakobsen, K. S., Wulff, B. B. H., Steuernagel, B., & Mayer, K. F. X., & Olsen, O-A. (2014). Ancient hybridizations among the ancestral genomes of bread wheat. Science, 345(6194), [1250092].