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      High‐density genotyping of the A.E. Watkins Collection of hexaploid landraces identifies a large molecular diversity compared to elite bread wheat

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          The importance of wheat as a food crop makes it a major target for agricultural improvements. As one of the most widely grown cereal grains, together with maize and rice, wheat is the leading provider of calories in the global diet, constituting 29% of global cereal production in 2015. In the last few decades, however, yields have plateaued, suggesting that the green revolution, at least for wheat, might have run its course and that new sources of genetic variation are urgently required. The overall aim of our work was to identify novel variation that may then be used to enable the breeding process. As landraces are a potential source of such diversity, here we have characterized the A.E. Watkins Collection alongside a collection of elite accessions using two complementary high‐density and high‐throughput genotyping platforms. While our results show the importance of using the appropriate SNP collection to compare diverse accessions, they also show that the Watkins Collection contains a substantial amount of novel genetic diversity which has either not been captured in current breeding programmes or which has been lost through previous selection pressures. As a consequence of our analysis, we have identified a number of accessions which carry an array of novel alleles along with a number of interesting chromosome rearrangements which confirm the variable nature of the wheat genome.

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          Crop Yield Gaps: Their Importance, Magnitudes, and Causes

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            A whole-genome shotgun approach for assembling and anchoring the hexaploid bread wheat genome

            Polyploid species have long been thought to be recalcitrant to whole-genome assembly. By combining high-throughput sequencing, recent developments in parallel computing, and genetic mapping, we derive, de novo, a sequence assembly representing 9.1 Gbp of the highly repetitive 16 Gbp genome of hexaploid wheat, Triticum aestivum, and assign 7.1 Gb of this assembly to chromosomal locations. The genome representation and accuracy of our assembly is comparable or even exceeds that of a chromosome-by-chromosome shotgun assembly. Our assembly and mapping strategy uses only short read sequencing technology and is applicable to any species where it is possible to construct a mapping population. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13059-015-0582-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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              Exploiting genetic diversity from landraces in wheat breeding for adaptation to climate change.

              Climate change has generated unpredictability in the timing and amount of rain, as well as extreme heat and cold spells that have affected grain yields worldwide and threaten food security. Sources of specific adaptation related to drought and heat, as well as associated breeding of genetic traits, will contribute to maintaining grain yields in dry and warm years. Increased crop photosynthesis and biomass have been achieved particularly through disease resistance and healthy leaves. Similarly, sources of drought and heat adaptation through extended photosynthesis and increased biomass would also greatly benefit crop improvement. Wheat landraces have been cultivated for thousands of years under the most extreme environmental conditions. They have also been cultivated in lower input farming systems for which adaptation traits, particularly those that increase the duration of photosynthesis, have been conserved. Landraces are a valuable source of genetic diversity and specific adaptation to local environmental conditions according to their place of origin. Evidence supports the hypothesis that landraces can provide sources of increased biomass and thousand kernel weight, both important traits for adaptation to tolerate drought and heat. Evaluation of wheat landraces stored in gene banks with highly beneficial untapped diversity and sources of stress adaptation, once characterized, should also be used for wheat improvement. Unified development of databases and promotion of data sharing among physiologists, pathologists, wheat quality scientists, national programmes, and breeders will greatly benefit wheat improvement for adaptation to climate change worldwide.

                Author and article information

                Plant Biotechnol J
                Plant Biotechnol. J
                Plant Biotechnology Journal
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                28 July 2017
                January 2018
                : 16
                : 1 ( doiID: 10.1111/pbi.2018.16.issue-1 )
                : 165-175
                [ 1 ] University of Bristol Bristol Life Sciences Building 24 Tyndall Avenue Bristol UK
                [ 2 ] John Innes Centre Norwich Research Park Norwich Norfolk UK
                Author notes
                [* ] Correspondence (Tel +44 117 331 6770; fax +44 117 925 7374; email mark.winfield@ )
                © 2017 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 8, Tables: 1, Pages: 11, Words: 7978
                Funded by: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, UK
                Funded by: Crop Improvement Research Club (CIRC)
                Award ID: BB/I003207/1
                Award ID: BB/I017496/1
                Research Article
                Research Articles
                Custom metadata
                January 2018
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_NLMPMC version:version=5.3.1 mode:remove_FC converted:25.01.2018


                wheat, landraces, snps, triticum aestivum, watkins collection


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