Previous genetic studies on wheat from various sources have indicated that aluminum (Al) tolerance may have originated independently in USA, Brazil, and China. Here, TaALMT1 promoter sequences of 92 landraces and cultivars from Sichuan, China, were sequenced. Five promoter types (I', II, III, IV, and V) were observed in 39 cultivars, and only three promoter types (I, II, and III) were observed in 53 landraces. Among the wheat collections worldwide, only the Chinese Spring (CS) landrace native to Sichuan, China, carried the TaALMT1 promoter type III. Besides CS, two other Sichuan-bred landraces and six cultivars with TaALMT1 promoter type III were identified in this study. In the phylogenetic tree constructed based on the TaALMT1 promoter sequences, type III formed a separate branch, which was supported by a high bootstrap value. It is likely that TaALMT1 promoter type III originated from Sichuan-bred wheat landraces of China. In addition, the landraces with promoter type I showed the lowest Al tolerance among all landraces and cultivars. Furthermore, the cultivars with promoter type IV showed better Al tolerance than landraces with promoter type II. A comparison of acid tolerance and Al tolerance between cultivars and landraces showed that the landraces had better acid tolerance than the cultivars, whereas the cultivars showed better Al tolerance than the landraces. Moreover, significant difference in Al tolerance was also observed between the cultivars raised by the National Ministry of Agriculture and by Sichuan Province. Among the landraces from different regions, those from the East showed better acid tolerance and Al tolerance than those from the South and West of Sichuan. Additional Al-tolerant and acid-tolerant wheat lines were also identified.
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