Einkorn (Triticum monococcum) represents the first domesticated wheat species, a founder crop that fueled the Neolithic Revolution in the Fertile Crescent ~10,000 years ago. Ancient hunter-gatherers used einkorn grains to bake bread-like products several millennia before the birth of agriculture. Here, we generate and analyze 5.2-gigabase reference assemblies of a wild and a domesticated einkorn accession. Whole-genome sequencing of a large diversity panel sheds light on the population structure and evolutionary history of einkorn. In particular, we unravel complex patterns of hybridizations and introgressions following the dispersal of domesticated einkorn from the Fertile Crescent. Although einkorn is not the direct donor of the bread wheat A subgenome, we show that around 1% of the modern bread wheat A subgenome originates from einkorn. In summary, our results shed light on the history of einkorn evolution and they provide a basis to accelerate genomics-assisted improvement of einkorn and bread wheat.
All Rights Reserved. Prior permission required for data duplication.