Genetic diversity and environmental associations of wild barley, Hordeum spontaneum, in Turkey

E. Nevo, D. Zohary, A. Beiles, D. Kaplan, N. Storch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Genetic variability within and between populations of the wild progenitor of barley was studied electrophoretically. Thirty enzyme loci were assayed in 437 individuals representing 11 populations of H. spontaneum in Turkey. The results indicated that: (a)H. spontaneum in Turkey is genetically rich in allozyme variation, but because of predominant self-pollination the variation is maintained as different homozygotes in the population; (b) genetic differentiation of populations includes clinal, regional, and local patterns, sometimes displaying sharp geographic differentiation over short distances; (c) overall indices of allozymic diversity and some allele frequencies of wild barley are significantly correlated with the environment and are predictable ecologically, chiefly by combinations of temperature and humidity variables; (d) a high percentage of alleles (66%) occur in local areas or are distributed sporadically rather than widespread; (e) Wright Fixation index was very high, F=0.995; (f) genetic distance was high (D=0.11, ranging from 0.031 to 0.288) between populations, and (g) average relative genetic differentiation was high among populations (Gst=0.47, ranging from 0.02 to 0.66). The spatial patterns and environmental correlates and predictors of genetic variation of H. spontaneum in Turkey, indicated that genetic variation in wild barley populations is not only common, but also at least partly, adaptive. Therefore, a much fuller exploitation of these genetic resources by breeding is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-213
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Insect Science


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