Differential patterns of germination and desiccation tolerance of mesic and xeric wild barley (Hordeum spontaneum) in Israel

Guoxiong Chen, Krugman Tamar, Tzion Fahima, Fengchun Zhang, Abraham B. Korol, Eviatar Nevo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Differential patterns of germination were identified in mesic (Maalot) versus xeric (Wadi Qilt) ecotypes of wild barley, Hordeum spontaneum C. Koch, in the following traits: afterripening (dormancy), seedling desiccation tolerance, and the effect of glumellae and ethanol on afterripening and seedling growth. The following results were indicated: (i) Dispersal unit afterripening average (75%) was identical, but its coefficient of variation was larger in the xeric than in the mesic ecotype (29.9% and 9.9%, respectively). (ii) Survival ratio of seedlings after 1-month dehydration was higher in the xeric ecotypes indicating that seedling desiccation tolerance was higher in the xeric ecotype. (iii) Inhibition of germination and seedling growth by glumellae were higher in the mesic ecotypes. Ethanol sterilization of naked caryopsis promoted root growth of mesic seedlings but not xeric seedlings. Seedlings originating from xeric ecotypes had longer roots than mesic seedlings. It appears that, in the germination stage, natural selection adapted wild barley to a xeric environment by increasing the diversity of afterripening, enhancing desiccation tolerance, and improving root length growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-105
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the following grants: the Israel Discount Bank Chair of Evolutionary Biology; the Ancell-Teicher Research Foundation for Molecular Genetics and Evolution; the German-Israel project Cooperation (DIP project funded by the BMBF and supported by BMBF's International Bureau at the DLR), and the Graduate School of the University of Haifa, Israel. The authors thank Mrs. Ma Yan and Ms. Milade Naela for assistance in the experiment.


  • Afterripening
  • Caryopsis
  • Drought resistance
  • Ethanol
  • Point of no return
  • Survival ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Differential patterns of germination and desiccation tolerance of mesic and xeric wild barley (Hordeum spontaneum) in Israel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this