RAPD polymorphism of wild emmer wheat populations, Triticum dicoccoides, in Israel

T. Fahima, G. L. Sun, A. Beharav, T. Krugman, A. Beiles, E. Nevo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Genetic diversity in random amplified polymorphic DNAs (RAPDs) was studied in 110 genotypes of the tetraploid wild progenitor of wheat, Triticum dicoccoides, from 11 populations sampled in Israel and Turkey. Our results show high level of diversity of RAPD markers in wild wheat populations in Israel. The ten primers used in this study amplified 59 scorable RAPD loci of which 48 (81.4%) were polymorphic and 11 monomorphic. RAPD analysis was found to be highly effective in distinguishing genotypes of T. dicoccoides originating from diverse ecogeographical sites in Israel and Turkey, with 95.5% of the 100 genotypes correctly classified into sites of origin by discriminant analysis based on RAPD genotyping. However, interpopulation genetic distances showed no association with geographic distance between the population sites of origin, negating a simple isolation by distance model. Spatial autocorrelation of RAPD frequencies suggests that migration is not influential. Our present RAPD results are non-random and in agreement with the previously obtained allozyme patterns, although the genetic diversity values obtained with RAPDs are much higher than the allozyme values. Significant correlates of RAPD markers with various climatic and soil factors suggest that, as in the case of allozymes, natural selection causes adaptive RAPD ecogeographical differentiation. The results obtained suggest that RAPD markers are useful for the estimation of genetic diversity in wild material of T. dicoccoides and the identification of suitable parents for the development of mapping populations for the tagging of agronomically important traits derived from T. dicoccoides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-447
Number of pages14
JournalTheoretical And Applied Genetics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1999


  • Ecological diversity
  • Genetic diversity
  • Natural selection
  • RAPD
  • Wild emmer wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics


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