Brazilian Journal of Botany

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 463–473 | Cite as

Polymorphism of microsatellite markers in barley varieties contrasting in response to drought stress

  • Sawsen Drine
  • Ferdaous Guasmi
  • Hayet Bacha
  • Raoudha Abdellaoui
  • Ali Ferchichi
Original Article


Drought is one of the most serious abiotic stresses limiting plant growth and crop productivity worldwide. The long arm of the barley chromosome 4H is often implicated in adaptation to drought. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to explore the polymorphism of microsatellite markers localized mostly on chromosome 4H in eight barley varieties (Hordeum vulgare L.) representing the wide range of drought tolerance. The differences in physiological responses related to drought stress classified these genotypes in two groups based on the Euclidean distances. The susceptible varieties are gathered in the same cluster recording an average Euclidean distance of 27.2, and an average dissimilarity of approximately 52.4 regarding the drought-tolerant group. Tolerance to drought stress of the Tunisian and Jordanian barley cultivars was associated with lower changing ratios of malondialdehyde contents, smaller decrease in leaf water content and significant increase in proline concentration compared to other analyzed genotypes. In simple sequence repeat (SSR) analyses, from a total of 17 analyzed SSR primers, 12 microsatellites showed clear patterns with high level of polymorphism. Among the 12 polymorphic SSR primers, four were found to be polymorphic across drought susceptible and drought-tolerant cultivars (Bmag808, EBMAC624, WMS6 and BMAC0577). High level of diversity was observed in the chosen genotypes through analyzing both physiological traits and SSR markers. A significant correlation was observed between the distance matrices based on SSR markers and physiological data, as determined by the Pearson’s correlation coefficient (r  =  0.63; Mantel test P  <  0.05).


Drought tolerance Genetic diversity Hordeum vulgare L. Malondialdehyde Proline Relative water content Simple sequence repeat marker 



We gratefully thank all the technical staff of the Arid Regions Institute-Medenine (IRA) for their help to conducting these experiments. The authors are also grateful to the Editor in Chief Pr. Orlando Necchi Jr, the Assistant Editor Prof. Zivko Jovanovic and to two anonymous referees for their critical reading and revision of the original manuscript. Their valuable comments contributed to improve the presentation of our work.


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Copyright information

© Botanical Society of Sao Paulo 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sawsen Drine
    • 1
  • Ferdaous Guasmi
    • 1
  • Hayet Bacha
    • 1
  • Raoudha Abdellaoui
    • 1
  • Ali Ferchichi
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Arid RegionsMedenineTunisia
  2. 2.National Agronomic Institute of TunisiaTunisTunisia

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