, Volume 56, Issue 6, pp 273-284

Electrophoretic survey of seedling esterases in wheats in relation to their phylogeny

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Evolutionary and ontogenetic variation of six seedling esterases of independent genetic control is studied in polyploid wheats and their diploid relatives by means of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Four of them are shown to be controlled by homoeoallelic genes in chromosomes of third, sixth and seventh homoeologous groups.

The isoesterase electrophoretic data are considered supporting a monophyletic origin of both the primitive tetraploid and the primitive hexaploid wheat from which contemporary taxa of polyploid wheats have emerged polyphyletically and polytopically through recurrent introgressive hybridization and accumulation of mutations. Ancestral diploids belonging or closely related to Triticum boeoticum, T. urartu, Aegilops speltoides and Ae. tauschii ssp. strangulata are genetically the most suitable genome donors of polyploid wheats. Diploids of the Emarginata subsection of the section Sitopsis, Aegilops longissima s.str., Ae. sharonensis, Ae. searsii and Ae. bicornis, are unsuitable for the role of the wheat B genome donors, being all fixed for the esterase B and D electromorphs different from those of tetraploid wheats.

Communicated by J. Mac Key