Wild Emmer (Triticum dicoccoides) is
a hybrid created when a Goat Grass was pollinated by pollen from
Wild Einkorn at least 30,000 years ago. The two parents, Wild
Einkorn and the Goat Grass are both diploids,
each with 14 chromosomes in their cells. After natural pollination
and amphiploidy (chromosome doubling),
a tetraploid wheat with cells containing
28 chromosomes, genome 'AABB' was produced. Hybridisation probably
occurred many times over several millennia in areas of the Fertile
Crescent where the two parent plants grew together.
Wild Emmer has grains that are larger than those of Wild Einkorn
but they are still enclosed in ears with the characteristic hard
shell or 'hull'. Although the ears fragment into single spikelets
when ripe, this did not prevent their collection as a food source.