Genetic diversity of the D-genome in T. aestivum and Aegilops species using SSR markers

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Simple sequence repeats (SSRs), highly dispersed nucleotide sequences in genomes, were used for germplasm analysis and estimation of the genetic relationship of the D-genome among 52 accessions of T. aestivum (AABBDD), Ae. tauschii (DtDt), Ae. cylindrica (CCDcDc) and Ae. crassa (MMDcr1Dcr1), collected from 13 different sites in Iran. A set of 21 microsatellite primers, from various locations on the seven D-genome chromosomes, revealed a high level of polymorphism. A total of 273 alleles were detected across all four species and the number of alleles per each microsatellite marker varied from 3 to 27. The highest genetic diversity occurred in Ae. tauschii followed by Ae. crassa, and the genetic distance was the smallest between Ae. tauschii and Ae. cylindrica. Data obtained in this study supports the view that genetic variability in the D-genome of hexaploid wheat is less than in Ae. tauschii. The highest number of unique alleles was observed within Ae. crassa accessions, indicating this species as a great potential source of novel genes for bread wheat improvement. Knowledge of genetic diversity in Aegilops species provides different levels of information which is important in the management of germplasm resources.

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