Transcriptome profiling reveals mosaic genomic origins of modern cultivated barley

Fei Dai, Zhong Hua Chen, Xiaolei Wang, Zefeng Li, Gulei Jin, Dezhi Wu, Shengguan Cai, Ning Wang, Feibo Wu, Eviatar Nevo, Guoping Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The domestication of cultivated barley has been used as a model system for studying the origins and early spread of agrarian culture. Our previous results indicated that the Tibetan Plateau and its vicinity is one of the centers of domestication of cultivated barley. Here we reveal multiple origins of domesticated barley using transcriptome profiling of cultivated and wild-barley genotypes. Approximately 48-Gb of clean transcript sequences in 12 Hordeum spontaneum and 9 Hordeum vulgare accessions were generated. We reported 12,530 de novo assembled transcripts in all of the 21 samples. Population structure analysis showed that Tibetan hulless barley (qingke) might have existed in the early stage of domestication. Based on the large number of unique ge-nomic regions showing the similarity between cultivated and wild-barley groups, we propose that the genomic origin of modern cultivated barley is derived from wild-barley genotypes in the Fertile Crescent (mainly in chromosomes 1H, 2H, and 3H) and Tibet (mainly in chromosomes 4H, 5H, 6H, and 7H). This study indicates that the domestication of barley may have occurred over time in geographically distinct regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13403-13408
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number37
StatePublished - 16 Sep 2014


  • Evolution
  • Genetic diversity
  • Genomic similarity
  • RNA-Seq
  • Single nucleotide variants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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