Aegilops tauschii Coss. is the D-genome progenitor of hexaploid wheat. Aegilops tauschii, a wild diploid species, has a wide natural species range in central Eurasia, spreading from Turkey to western China. Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis using a total of 122 accessions of Ae. tauschii was conducted to clarify the population structure of this widespread wild wheat species. Phylogenetic and principal component analyses revealed two major lineages in Ae. tauschii. Bayesian population structure analyses based on the AFLP data showed that lineages one (L1) and two (L2) were respectively significantly divided into six and three sublineages. Only four out of the six L1 sublineages were diverged from those of western habitats in the Transcaucasia and northern Iran region to eastern habitats such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. Other sublineages including L2 were distributed to a limited extent in the western region. Subspecies strangulata seemed to be differentiated in one sublineage of L2. Among three major haplogroups (HG7, HG9 and HG16) previously identified in the Ae. tauschii population based on chloroplast variation, HG7 accessions were widely distributed to both L1 and L2, HG9 accessions were restricted to L2, and HG16 accessions belonged to L1, suggesting that HG9 and HG16 were formed from HG7 after divergence of the first two lineages of the nuclear genome. These results on the population structure of Ae. tauschii and the genealogical relationship among Ae. tauschii accessions should provide important agricultural and evolutionary knowledge on genetic resources and conservation of natural genetic diversity.
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