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  • 1 Institute of Cytology and Genetics Novosibirsk 630090 Russia
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Genetic variation in Aegilops tauschii , the genome D donor of common wheat, is an important natural resource. Ae. tauschii is a stochastic steady-state genetic system of numerous small populations belonging to the two subspecies, tauschii and strangulata . The level of genetic differentiation is high; most of the genetic variation is among populations. Local populations are rather isolated and genetic drift plays an important role. Under such conditions important “new genes” are found not only in the recognized centre of Ae. tauschii genetic variability, but also in accessions collected in the parts of the species range with relatively low general levels of genetic variability. Moreover, additional collections in the regions which are already well represented in germplasm collections could also have previously unknown “new” alleles.

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