Endemic wheat subspecies are useful germplasms for improving the yield and environmental adaptabilities of common wheat. In this issue, Gu et al. (pp. 688–697) report the development of four sets of introgression lines using Chinese endemic subspecies including Tibetan semi-wild wheat, Xinjiang wheat and Yunnan wheat as donors. These introgression lines have been used to improve agronomic traits of bread wheat and to map yield-related QTLs.