Durum Wheat Community

A global platform for leveraging tetraploid wheat diversity


The durum wheat community has carried out a coordinated effort to assemble and make publicly available two germplasm collections representing native diversity of tetraploid wheat and conceived with different purposes. The output of this initiative is a global platform for tetraploid wheat diversity comprising two reference panels, suitable for genomics studies and breeding activities.

Tool 1: the Tetraploid wheat Global Collection (TGC)

TGC is a tool for evolutionary studies organized with a “top-down approach” which includes wild and cultivated emmer, landraces of T. turgidum subspecies (durum, turanicum, polonicum, carthlicum, turgidum) and cultivars sampled from all major cultivation and domestication areas worldwide (1,852 accessions, including ca. 800 durum wheat landraces, 200 T. turgidum of various subspecies, 450 domesticated emmer and 120 wild emmer). The TGC has been profiled with the 90K Illumina SNP array. Further details are provided in Maccaferri et al. (Durum wheat genome highlights past domestication signatures and future improvement targets. 2019, Nature Genetics, 51: 885–895. doi: 10.1038/s41588-019-0381-3).

In 2020, a core-collection of 300 accessions capturing most of the genetic diversity in tetraploid wheat has been defined based on the TGC population structure molecular analysis. The collection has been seed-increased at the University of Bologna (Italy) and at the CREA research Centre for Genomics and Bioinformatics (Fiorenzuola d’Arda, Italy). A limited amount of seeds is available.

Example of the diversity sampled in the Tetraploid wheat Global Collection

For more information:

Marco Maccaferri marco.maccaferri@unibo.it
Roberto Tuberosa roberto.tuberosa@unibo.it
Luigi Cattivelli luigi.cattivelli@crea.gov.it

Example of the diversity sampled in the Tetraploid wheat Global Collection.

Tool 2: the Global Durum Panel (GDP)

GDP is an international effort to identify and exchange beneficial alleles among breeding programs. The panel has been organized through a “bottom-up approach”, made from breeders’ contributions and representing most of the genetic diversity used in breeding programs worldwide. Starting from more than 2,500 tetraploid wheat accessions assembled with a collaborative effort of the Expert Working Group on Durum Wheat Genomics and Breeding, part of Wheat Initiative, the final GDP panel (1.033 accessions in total) was assembled based on the analysis of genotyping data yielded by 88 informative genome-wide KASP® markers. GDP collects about 95% of the diversity available in the materials originally contributed by the breeders. The GDP consists of a wide representation of modern T. durum germplasm and landraces, plus a selection of wild emmer and domesticated tetraploid wheats to maximize diversity. The GDP has also been profiled with the 90K Illumina SNP array and population structure has been analyzed. Seed is available through the ICARDA gene bank. A manuscript describing the main features of the GDP including genetic diversity distribution and population structure is in preparation (Mazzuccotteli et al.) and will be submitted for publication by the end of May.

Field multiplication of the Global Durum Panel

For more information:

Luigi Cattivelli luigi.cattivelli@crea.gov.it
Elisabetta Mazzucotelli elisabetta.mazzucotelli@crea.gov.it
Marco Maccaferri marco.maccaferri@unibo.it
Roberto Tuberosa roberto.tuberosa@unibo.it
Filippo Bassi (ICARDA) f.bassi@cgiar.org

Field multiplication of the Global Durum Panel.