Taxonomical classification and origin of Kamut® wheat

Michalcová, V., Dušinský, R., Sabo, M., Al Beyroutiová, M., Hauptvogel, P., Ivaničová, Z., Švec, M.

Keywords: Kamut®, Molecular taxonomy, Origin, TERGAP, DArT
Abstract: Bioagriculture and healthy lifestyle are trends of the twenty-first century. Bioagriculture involves the breeding of crops without using modern synthetic substances. Kamut brand wheat is one of the popular biocereals grown mainly in the USA and Europe. This cereal has the status of ancient wheat, not only because it has been grown since the era of the ancient Egyptian civilization, but also for its properties favorable for modern breeding programs and modern food marketing. In spite of Kamut’s ® interesting history and stable place in the market, it is not a common subject of genetic studies. It is also interesting that it has not been successfully taxonomically classified yet. There are a few studies which classify this tetraploid wheat as Triticum polonicum L., T. turanicum Jakubz., T. turgidum L. and T. durum Desf. These studies are based on cytological and comparative methods. We chose molecular (transposable element resistance gene analog polymorphism, diversity arrays technology, sequencing of genes SBEIIa, and wLpx-A1_like) and statistical methods to classify Kamut® wheat. According to our experiments we suggest that Kamut brand wheat originated as a natural hybrid between Triticum dicoccon conv. dicoccon and T. polonicum and is not original ancient Egyptian wheat. We suggest that Etruscan wheat has the same parents as Kamut®.
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IEB authors: Zuzana Ivaničová