Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 108, Issue 6, pp 1182–1190 | Cite as

High-resolution organellar genome analysis of Triticum and Aegilops sheds new light on cytoplasm evolution in wheat

  • J. ProvanEmail author
  • P. Wolters
  • K. H. Caldwell
  • W. Powell
Original Paper


We have utilised polymorphic chloroplast microsatellites to analyse cytoplasmic relationships between accessions in the genera Triticum and Aegilops. Sequencing of PCR products revealed point mutations and insertions/deletions in addition to the standard repeat length expansion/contraction which most likely represent ancient synapomorphies. Phylogenetic analyses revealed three distinct groups of accessions. One of these contained all the non-Aegilops speltoides S-type cytoplasm species, another comprised almost exclusively A, C, D, M, N, T and U cytoplasm-type accessions and the third contained the polyploid Triticum species and all the Ae. speltoides accessions, further confirming that Ae. speltoides or a closely related but now extinct species was the original B-genome donor of cultivated polyploid wheat. Successive decreases in levels of genetic diversity due to domestication were also observed. Finally, we highlight the importance of elucidating longer-term evolutionary processes operating at microsatellite repeat loci.


Emmer Wheat Mononucleotide Repeat Aegilops Species Simple Sequence Length Polymorphism Cytoplasm Type 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank S.M. Reader and J. W. Snape (John Innes Centre) who supplied some of the seeds for this study. K. Caldwell and W. Powell are currently supported by SEERAD.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Provan
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. Wolters
    • 2
  • K. H. Caldwell
    • 3
  • W. Powell
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Biology and BiochemistryThe Queen’s University of BelfastBelfastNorthern Ireland
  2. 2.E.I. DuPont Nemours and CompanyDuPont Agricultural ProductsNewarkUSA
  3. 3.Genome Dynamics ProgrammeScottish Crop Research InstituteDundeeUK

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