Durum wheat genome highlights past domestication signatures and future improvement targets (Nature Genetics)

Durum wheat cultivar Svevo (Triticum turgidum L. ssp. durum) is a cereal crop predominantly grown for pasta production. It is the result of multiple rounds of domestication, originally deriving from wild emmer wheat from the Fertile Crescent approximately 10,000 years ago. Here, Maccaferri et al. report the high quality genome of durum wheat, creating an indispensable resource to study wheat evolution and domestication. The use of comparative analysis to assess the impact of thousands of years of selective breeding reveals genome wide modifications as well as QTLs for agriculturally important traits. This genome alongside genotypic, gene mapping and expression data will be a valuable tool for the wheat and crop community e.g., gene discovery for grain quality and quantity (Summary by Alex Bowles) Nature Genetics 10.1038/s41588-019-0381-3.