Triticum urartu (diploid, AA) is the progenitor of the A subgenome of tetraploid (Triticum turgidum, AABB) and hexaploid (Triticum aestivum, AABBDD) wheat1,2. Genomic studies of T. urartu have been useful for investigating the structure, function and evolution of polyploid wheat genomes. Here we report the generation of a high-quality genome sequence of T. urartu by combining bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-by-BAC sequencing, single molecule real-time whole-genome shotgun sequencing 3 , linked reads and optical mapping4,5. We assembled seven chromosome-scale pseudomolecules and identified protein-coding genes, and we suggest a model for the evolution of T. urartu chromosomes. Comparative analyses with genomes of other grasses showed gene loss and amplification in the numbers of transposable elements in the T. urartu genome. Population genomics analysis of 147 T. urartu accessions from across the Fertile Crescent showed clustering of three groups, with differences in altitude and biostress, such as powdery mildew disease. The T. urartu genome assembly provides a valuable resource for studying genetic variation in wheat and related grasses, and promises to facilitate the discovery of genes that could be useful for wheat improvement.