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    Home > Biochemistry News > Biotechnology News > "Nature Biotechnology" DNA sequencing helps scientists find the unknown ancestor of modern bread wheat

    "Nature Biotechnology" DNA sequencing helps scientists find the unknown ancestor of modern bread wheat

    • Last Update: 2021-11-14
    • Source: Internet
    • Author: User
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    Researchers search for relatives of wild wheat in the central part of the Zagros Mountains in western Iran


    Gene detection work has discovered an unknown ancestor of modern bread wheat.
    This discovery is similar to the discovery of a well-known long-lost relative through human DNA analysis

    .

    In a study published in the journal Nature Biotechnology , researchers sequenced the DNA of 242 unique wheat goatgrass (Aegilops tauschii) collected from Turkey to various parts of Central Asia for decades
    .

    The population genome analysis led by Dr.
    Kumar Gaurav showed that in the Caucasus—about 500 kilometers from the fertile crescent where wheat was originally grown—a region spanning modern Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Pakistan—there is a unique Aegilops tauschii The descent is limited to Georgia today, Palestine, Israel, Jordan and Egypt

    .

    Dr.
    Kumar Gaurav, the first author of the "Nature Biotechnology" study, said: "The discovery of this previously unknown contribution to the bread wheat genome is similar to the discovery that Neanderthal DNA has penetrated into the human genome outside of Africa

    .
    "

    "This probably happened through crossings outside the fertile crescent
    .
    This group of Georgian varieties formed a unique lineage, forming the wheat genome by leaving a footprint in the DNA

    .
    "

    The discovery comes from a major international collaboration that aims to improve crops by exploring the useful genetic diversity in the wild relative of bread wheat, Aegilops tauschii
    .
    The Open Wild Wheat Alliance brings together 38 research groups and researchers from 17 countries

    .

    A further study by Dr.
    Jesse Poland’s team from Kansas State University was published in a supporting paper in Communications Biology.
    The study showed that Aegilops tauschii DNA found in modern bread wheat contains a gene that gives the dough higher strength And flexibility

    .

    Dr.
    Poland said: "We were surprised to find that this lineage provides the most famous gene for high-quality dough

    .
    "

    Researchers speculate that this newly discovered pedigree may have been geographically broader in the past, and it may have separated as a refuge population during the last ice age
    .

    In reviewing all the factors that made this work possible, the corresponding author of the study, Dr.
    Brande Wulff, commented: “Fifty or sixty years ago, when we didn’t know much about DNA, my senior scientists were traveling through the Middle East and Syria.
    And the Zagros Mountains in Iraq

    .
    They are collecting seeds, and maybe they think that one day these seeds can be used to improve wheat

    .
    Now, we are about to release this potential, which is very exciting to me

    .
    "


    Interpreting the complex genome of wheat

    Modern "hexaploid" wheat is a complex genetic combination composed of different gramineous plants, with a huge genetic code, divided into A, B and D subgenomes
    .
    Hexaploid wheat accounts for 95% of all cultivated wheat

    .
    Hexaploid means that the DNA contains six sets of chromosomes-three pairs per pair

    .

    Through the combination of natural hybridization and human cultivation, Aegilops tauschii provides the D genome for modern wheat
    .
    D gene increases the characteristics of dough making, so that bread wheat can grow in different climates and soils

    .

    The origin of modern hexaploid bread wheat has been closely watched for a long time.
    Archaeological and genetic evidence show that the first batch of wheat was planted in the fertile crescent 10,000 years ago

    .

    While domestication has increased yield and agronomic performance, it has also created an obvious genetic bottleneck, destroying the genetic diversity of Aegilops tauschii's protective traits such as disease resistance and heat tolerance
    .

    The analysis conducted by Dr.
    Gaurav and the research team showed that only 25% of the genetic diversity of Aegilops tauschii forms hexaploid wheat

    .
    To explore this diversity in the wild gene pool, they used a technique called association mapping to discover new candidate genes for pest resistance, yield, and environmental resilience

    .

    "In the past, we were limited to exploring a small part of disease resistance genes, but in the current research, we have generated data and technology to conduct an unbiased exploration of species diversity
    .
    "

    Further experiments proved that the use of genetic transformation and conventional hybridization to transfer candidate genes of these trait subsets to wheat — facilitated by a synthetic wheat library — specially bred materials containing the Aegilops tauschii genome
    .

    This publicly available synthetic wheat library captures 70% of the diversity in all three known Aegilops tauschii lineages, allowing researchers to quickly assess traits in the context of hexaploid wheat
    .

    Dr.
    Wulff said: "Our research provides an end-to-end pipeline for the rapid and systematic exploration of the Aegilops tauschii gene pool used to improve modern bread wheat

    .
    "

    1.
    Population genomic analysis of Aegilops tauschii identifies targets for bread wheat improvement

    2.
    High molecular weight glutenin gene diversity in Aegilops tauschii demonstrates unique origin of superior wheat quality

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