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Phylogeography of einkorn landraces in the Mediterranean basin and Central Europe: population structure and cultivation history

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Abstract

Einkorn (Triticum monococcum L.) was one of the first cereals to be domesticated in the Old World ca. 10,000 years ago and to spread towards Europe and North Africa. Its cultivation declined before the Iron Age and it remains today only as a relic crop in remote areas. To investigate if the geographic distribution of genetic diversity in modern einkorn landrace accessions could be informative about the movement of this crop during prehistory, we genotyped 50 accessions of einkorn from Europe, North Africa and the Near East. Using nuclear and chloroplast microsatellites and clustering methods, we detected two main gene pools in einkorn. The distribution of these lineages revealed differences between accessions from Morocco and the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of Europe and the Near East and suggests different regional dynamics in the spread of this crop.

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Acknowledgments

This works has been funded by a Ph.D. grant (ref. SFRH/BD/21748/2005) attributed to HO by the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation, by the European Research Council (Advanced Grant No. 2305619) project Origins and spread of agriculture in the western Mediterranean Region and the Spanish project Orígenes y expansión de la agricultura en el sur peninsular y norte de Marruecos: aportaciones desde la arqueobotánica y la genética HAR2008-09120/HIST (Plan Nacional de I+D+i) coordinated by LPCH. The authors are thankful for the germplasm collections that contributed the necessary seed material.

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Correspondence to Hugo R. Oliveira.

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Oliveira, H.R., Jones, H., Leigh, F. et al. Phylogeography of einkorn landraces in the Mediterranean basin and Central Europe: population structure and cultivation history. Archaeol Anthropol Sci 3, 327–341 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-011-0076-x

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