The Evolution of Wheat - Wild Einkorn

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Wild Einkorn (Triticum urartu), the source of the 'A' genome, occurs naturally in the Fertile Crescent area of South West Asia, often with a second einkorn wheat, Triticum boeoticum. Here they grow in the open areas of oak park-woodland. When ripe, the long awned ears readily fragment into single spikelets as an aid to seed dispersal.

Both wild einkorn varieties were collected for food by early hunter-gatherers despite their fragile ears fragmenting readily into separate spikelets. The hard shell or 'hull' made extracting the thin grain from the spikelets a laborious process.