, Volume 107, Issue 3, pp 413-421
Date: 03 Jul 2003

Patterns of polymorphism detected in the chloroplast and nuclear genomes of barley landraces sampled from Syria and Jordan

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In order to examine how molecular polymorphism in barley landraces, sampled from five different ecogeographical regions of Syria and Jordan, is organised and partitioned, genetic variability at 21 nuclear and 10 chloroplast microsatellite loci were examined. Chloroplast polymorphism was detected, with most variation being ascribed to differences between the five regions (Fst 0.45) and to within sites within each region (Fst 0.44). Moreover, the distribution of chloroplast polymorphism is structured and not distributed randomly across the barley landraces sampled. From a total of 125 landrace accessions (five lines from each of five sites from each of five regions) genotyped with 21 SSRs a total of 244 alleles were detected, of which 38 were common to the five regions sampled. Most nuclear variation was detected within sites. Significant differentiation between sites (Fst 0.29) was detected with nuclear SSRs and this partially mirrored polymorphism in the chloroplast genome. Strong statistical associations/interaction was also detected between the chloroplast and nuclear SSRs, together with non-random association (linkage disequilibrium) of alleles at both linked and unlinked SSR loci. These results are discussed in the context of adaptation of landraces to the extreme environment, the concept of 'adapted gene complexes' and the exploitation of landraces in breeding programmes.

Communicated by P. Langridge