RNA-seq analysis reveals considerable genetic diversity and provides genetic markers saturating all chromosomes in the diploid wild wheat relative Aegilops umbellulata

Moeko Okada, Kentaro Yoshida, Ryo Nishijima, Asami Michikawa, Yuka Motoi, Kazuhiro Sato, Shigeo Takumi

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Background: Aegilops umbellulata Zhuk. (2n=14), a wild diploid wheat relative, has been the source of trait improvement in wheat breeding. Intraspecific genetic variation of Ae. umbellulata, however, has not been well studied and the genomic information in this species is limited. Results: To develop novel genetic markers distributed over all chromosomes of Ae. umbellulata and to evaluate its genetic diversity, we performed RNA sequencing of 12 representative accessions and reconstructed transcripts by de novo assembly of reads for each accession. A large number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertions/deletions (indels) were obtained and anchored to the pseudomolecules of Ae. tauschii and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), which were regarded as virtual chromosomes of Ae. umbellulata. Interestingly, genetic diversity in Ae. umbellulata was higher than in Ae. tauschii, despite the narrow habitat of Ae. umbellulata. Comparative analyses of nucleotide polymorphisms between Ae. umbellulata and Ae. tauschii revealed no clear lineage differentiation and existence of alleles with rarer frequencies predominantly in Ae. umbellulata, with patterns clearly distinct from those in Ae. tauschii. Conclusions: The anchored SNPs, covering all chromosomes, provide sufficient genetic markers between Ae. umbellulata accessions. The alleles with rarer frequencies might be the main source of the high genetic diversity in Ae. umbellulata.

Original languageEnglish
Article number271
JournalBMC Plant Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 8 2018



  • Aegilops tauschii
  • Aegilops umbellulata
  • Barley
  • DNA markers
  • RNA sequencing
  • Synteny

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science

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