Geographic variation in protein content of wild barley, Hordeum spontaneum, and the associations of protein content with ecological and allozyme markers were tested in an attempt to derive predictive guidelines for conservation and utilization in breeding programs. The study involved 195 genotypes of wild barley from 25 populations, 15 central and 10 marginal. These populations had been tested earlier for allozymic variation (Nevo & al. 1979 a, b). The results indicate that protein content varies both within, but particularly between populations. Notably, the 10 marginal populations exhibit high protein content but low kernel weight, as compared with the 15 central populations which displayed lower protein content but high kernel weight. Three variable combinations of climatic factors explain 40% of the variability in protein content among populations. Likewise, 3 variable combinations of allozyme allele frequencies explain a significant degree of spatial variance in protein content (R square = 0.63). - We conclude that natural populations of wild barley in Israel contain large amounts of yet untapped genes for protein content. These could be effectively screened and utilized for producing high protein cultivars of barley by following ecological and allozymic markers as predictive guidelines in screening natural populations of wild barley.
- Hordeum spontaneum
- Protein content
- correlation with allozyme markers and environmental parameters
- kernel weight
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Plant Science