Employing the gene pool of wild relatives is an attractive approach to ensure the ability of wheat to sustain yield quality and quantity under changing climatic conditions. Wild goat grasses (Aegilops) are rich sources of disease resistance, nutritional quality and abiotic stress tolerance. However, the utilization of Aegilops genetic diversity in the wheat breeding has been hampered by the low throughput of selection methods and the poor knowledge on their genomes.
During the AEGILWHEAT, individual chromosomes of Ae. biuncialis will be isolated and sequenced to identify their gene content and produce molecular markers. The genes and markers will be integrated into a new genetic map. The new marker system will be used for the efficient selection of wheat-Ae. biuncialis hybrid progenies with wild chromosome segments.
The project will deliver valuable information to geneticists and breeders on the structural chromosome evolution within wild wheats and provide tools to support cost-effective transfer of new genes into wheat.
This Marie Curie Fellowship Grant (‘AEGILWHEAT’-H2020-MSCA-IF-2016-746253) was supported by the H2020 framework program of the European Union.