Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 299–310 | Cite as

Agronomical, quality, and molecular characterization of twenty Italian emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccon) accessions

  • Mario Augusto Pagnotta
  • Linda Mondini
  • Pasquale Codianni
  • Clara Fares
Research Article


Emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccon Schrank, 2n = 4x = 28) consists in a hulled wheat; its cultivation has been drastically reduced during the last century as a consequence of its low yield. Recently, its agronomic and nutritive values, as well as the increase of popularity of organic agriculture, have led to a renewed interest making its cultivation economically viable in the marginal lands with an increase of the cultivated areas. In Italy, it mainly survives in few marginal lands of central and southern Italy, where local varieties, adapted to the natural environment from where they originate, are used; moreover, some selected lines have also been developed. In the present work, agro-morphological and qualitative traits, together with molecular analyses of 20 emmer accessions consisting of Italian landraces, breeding lines, and cultivars, were performed. The field experiments were conducted for two consecutive years (2001/2002–2002/2003) in two locations: Viterbo in central Italy, and Foggia in south Italy. The analyzed emmer wheat accessions showed a good amount of genetic variability for both evaluated agro-morphological and molecular traits. This study illustrates an increase in earliness, GY, TW, TKW, and YI going from landraces, breeding lines to cultivars, while the variability does not change proportionally.


Agro-morphological traits Emmer wheat Hulled wheat Molecular markers Triticum dicoccon 



Heading date


Plant height


Grain yield


Number of spikes per m2


Test weight


Thousand kernel weight


Grain protein content


Gluten content


Yellow index


Ash content


Gluten Index




Percentage of polymorphism


Number of alleles per locus


Number of polymorphic alleles per locus


Expected heterozygosity


Observed heterozygosity











The authors acknowledge the Italian Ministry of Agricultural project “Risorse genetiche di organismi utili per il miglioramento di specie di interesse agrario e per una agricoltura sostenibile” for financial support and Ms Arshiya Noorani for her useful suggestions in the manuscript editing.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Augusto Pagnotta
    • 1
  • Linda Mondini
    • 1
  • Pasquale Codianni
    • 2
  • Clara Fares
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Agrobiology and AgrochemistryUniversity of TusciaViterboItaly
  2. 2.C.R.A. Centro di Ricerca per la CerealicolturaFoggiaItaly

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