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Re-evaluating the history of the wheat domestication gene NAM-B1 using historical plant material
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
2010 (English)In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 37, no 9, 2303-2307 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The development of agriculture is closely associated with the domestication of wheat, one of the earliest crop species. During domestication key genes underlying traits important to Neolithic agriculture were targeted by selection. One gene believed to be such a domestication gene is NAM-B1, affecting both nutritional quality and yield but with opposite effects. A null mutation, first arisen in emmer wheat, decreases the nutritional quality but delays maturity and increases grain size; previously the ancestral allele was believed lost during the domestication of durum and bread wheat by indirect selection for larger grain. By genotyping 63 historical seed samples originating from the 1862 International Exhibition in London, we found that the ancestral allele was present in two spelt wheat and two bread wheat cultivars widely cultivated at the time. This suggests that fixation of the mutated allele of NAM-B1 in bread wheat, if at all, occurred during modern crop improvement rather than during domestication. We also discuss the value of using archaeological and historical plant material to further the understanding of the development of agriculture.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 37, no 9, 2303-2307 p.
Keyword [en]
Domestication, Wheat, NAM-B1, Agricultural history, Nutritional content
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-135744DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2010.04.003ISI: 000280377100023OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-135744DiVA: diva2:375508
Available from: 2010-12-08 Created: 2010-12-08 Last updated: 2016-04-22Bibliographically approved

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