Research Article

Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 60, Issue 4, pp 1547-1558

Spatial and temporal genetic analyses of Ethiopian barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) landraces reveal the absence of a distinct population structure

  • Tiegist Dejene AbebeAffiliated withInstitute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation, University of Bonn Email author 
  • , Jens LéonAffiliated withInstitute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation, University of Bonn

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Ethiopia is known for its wide topographically induced variation that favours a large amount of plant genetic diversity, and determination of the genetic structure of the germplasm is a crucial step towards exploiting this variation. Accordingly, a study was initiated to determine population structure patterns based on spatial and temporal factors and thereby establish group accessions depending on genetic similarity. To achieve this goal, 15 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were used for 199 barley landraces collected from ten administrative regions of Ethiopia. The analysis of the spatial genetic structure was performed on the entire data set and on two groups created based on the year of collection. The results obtained from the model-based Bayesian clustering revealed 16 unstructured groups. Furthermore, the grouping of the accessions based on SSR markers resulted in hierarchical chain-type clusters with most of the accessions in the first cluster. The spatial correlations between the genetic and geographical distances revealed a weak population structure for the entire data set, and a weak temporal population structure was also observed for the barley populations from the recent collection. In general, the results indicated the absence of a distinct and consistent population structure among the regions, which could be presumed because of high gene flow. These findings will facilitate parent selection in order to broaden the genetic base of modern cultivars via breeding efforts and also provide information for the planning of an efficient germplasm collection strategy.


Barley Ethiopia Hordeum vulgare Population structure Spatial autocorrelation SSR