The durum wheat varieties from Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan are characterized by the specific allelic composition of theVRNgenes that sharply distinguish them from theTriticum durumvarieties from other countries. For numerous varieties, theVRNalleles which previously were not found in tetraploid wheat were identified.
The ability of wheat to adapt to a wide range of environmental conditions is mostly determined by the allelic diversity within genes regulating the vernalization requirement (VRN) and photoperiod response (PPD). In the present study, allelic variation in the VRN1, VRN3, andPPD-A1 genes was investigated for 134 varieties of Triticum durum from different eco-geographic areas. It was shown that varieties from Russia and Ukraine have a specific allelic composition at the VRN genes, which in quantity and quality differed from European and American cultivars. A large number of varieties of T. durum from Russia carry the dominantVrn-A1a.1 allele, previously identified mainly in hexaploid wheat. For some varieties from Eastern Europe and Asia, Vrn-A1i and vrn-A1b.3 recently revealed in wheat were also identified. Polymorphism of the VRN-B1 promoter region, distinguishing all three variants of this sequence (VRN-B1.f, VRN-B1.s, and VRN-B1.m), was detected. It was found that the dominant Vrn-B1c allele is commonly found in varieties of T. durum from Russia and Ukraine, but not Europe or USA. Furthermore, many Ukrainian and Russian varieties carry the dominant alleles of the both VRN-A1 and VRN-B1 genes simultaneously, while varieties from Europe and America carry the dominant allele of VRN-A1 alone. Finally, a high frequency of theVrn-B3a allele, which previously was found only in some accessions of hexaploid wheat, was observed for varieties from Ukraine and Russia. It was revealed that the Ukrainian pool of T. durum varieties is currently the largest genetic source of the dominant Vrn-B3a allele in wheat in the worldwide.