The discovery of genetic diversity in Ae. tauschii associated with traits of interest can help accelerate wheat improvement. To address this aim, we seek to comprehensively characterize the genetic diversity of this wild relative of wheat.
Hexaploid bread wheat, Triticum aestivum (genome constitution AABBDD), emerged from two successive hybridization events from diploid progenitors 5.5 million and 8,000 years ago, respectively.
The progenitor of the D genome is the wild wheat species Aegilops tauschii. This goatgrass has a natural distribution ranging from East Turkey to China and West Pakistan.
Ae. tauschii is classified into three lineages, namely lineage 1 (L1), lineage 2 (L2), and lineage 3 (L3). The wheat D sub-genome resulted from at least two hybridization events with predominantly L2 and L3 donors, respectively.
This wild wheat species is a suitable model system for studying trait variation transferrable to wheat. It has a diploid genome of 4.36 Gb, nearly four times smaller than that of hexaploid wheat (16 Gb).
The Open Wild Wheat Consortium phase I was completed in 2021 with the publication of our research article in Nature Biotechnology. The publication took five years in the making and gathered 78 co-authors from 38 institutions around the world.
We established a diverse panel of 242 inbred and genotypically non-redundant accessions of Aegilops tauschii from across its natural geographic range.
The Ae. tauschii panel includes 116 accessions from Lineage 1, 121 from Lineage 2, and 5 from Lineage 3, displaying extensive variation in morphological traits and disease resistance.
Geographical distribution of the Aegilops tauschii accessions included in the diversity panel. The accessions are color coded according to their lineage. Figure 1a taken from Gaurav et al., 2021.
Seed for the OWWC diversity panel is publicly available in the Germplasm Resources Unit (GRU) of the John Innes Centre, UK.
– GRU Collection: Open Wild Wheat Consortium Ae. tauschii Diversity Panel
Gaurav et al. (2021) Population genomic analysis of Aegilops tauschii identifies targets for bread wheat improvement. Nature Biotechnology.
Delorean et al. (2021) High molecular weight glutenin gene diversity in Aegilops tauschii demonstrates unique origin of superior wheat quality. Communications Biology. 4, 1242.
DATA AND CODE
Data generated by the OWWC and published in Gaurav et al. 2021 is available in public repositories as described here.
Scripts and pipelines for the bioinformatics analyses described in Gaurav et al. 2021 are available in the Github repository: wheatgenetics/owwc.
PRESENTATIONS, PRESS RELEASES, AND MEDIA
How bread wheat got its gluten: Tracing the impact of a long-lost relative on modern bread wheat – Press release by JIC Communications (Nov 2021)
2020 BGRI Virtual Technical Workshop:
Exploiting diversity in the bread wheat D-genome progenitor. Presented by Kumar Gaurav. (Oct 2020)
New genomic tool searches wheat’s wild past to improve crops of the future –Press release by JIC Communications (Apr 2018)
The Open Wild Wheat Consortium Phase II began in January of 2022.
We are expanding the previous Ae. tauschii OWWC panel of 242 non-redundant accessions to over 600 accessions from Lineages 1, 2, and 3, constituting one of the largest collections of this wild wheat species.
Whole genome shotgun (WGS) sequencing between 7.5 and 10-fold coverage of the additional accessions will be carried out to generate an extensive sequence-configured panel for this wild wheat.
The pangenome will be generated from high-quality reference assemblies for a collection of 44 accessions. These accessions are strategically important to the consortium, as well as representative of the genetic diversity across the previously genotyped panel in Phase I.
The raw data generated in Phase II will be made available under Toronto agreement.
By using the data you will agree to:
This agreement does not expire by time but only upon publication of the first global analysis for the OWWC Phase II by the data producers and contributors.