Associations between isozyme phenotypes and environment in the slender wild oat (Avena barbata) in Israel

A. L. Kahler, R. W. Allard, M. Krzakowa, C. F. Wehrhahn, E. Nevo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Collections from 31 populations of A. barbata from diverse habitats in Israel were assayed electrophoretically for seven enzyme systems. Phenotype frequencies were scored in nine enzyme zones, probably representing 27 loci, to determine isozyme variability within and among populations. Many different isozyme phenotypes were found in all of the populations; also the array of isozyme phenotypes found in each population differed distinctly from that found in each other population. Overlays of phenotypic frequencies on map locations showed that isozyme variability is distributed in mosaic patterns not related to geographical distance. Principal-component and multiple-regression analyses revealed that temperature and moisture-related variables are significantly correlated with particular isozyme phenotypes. Further, the mosaic patterns of isozyme variation were found to correspond closely to mosaic patterns of the habitat. This structuring of the genetic variability into multilocus combinations was attributed to the combined effects of directional and diversifying selection. Comparisons of patterns and extent of genetic variation in Israel and California led to the conclusion that the evolution of 'ecotypes,' each adapted to a specific habitat and marked by a particular set of enzyme alleles, has proceeded further in Israel, where A. barbata is endemic, than in California, where it is a recent introduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-47
Number of pages17
JournalTheoretical And Applied Genetics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1980


  • Avena barbata
  • Environment
  • Evolution of ecotypes
  • Isozyme phenotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Biotechnology


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