Wild barley, Hordeum vulgare L. ssp. spontaneum (C. Koch) Thell., is the progenitor of cultivated barley. Almost unanimously the center of diversity is considered to be in the Fertile Crescent of the Near East, where wild barley grows under a wide range of environmental and climatic conditions. Jordanian wild barley is expected to harbor genes useful for the improvement of cultivated barley, particularly those associated with tolerance to drought. This study evaluated 103 wild barley accessions collected from different areas of Jordan along with 29 cultivated barley genotypes for several morphological and agronomical traits. The Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum C. Koch accessions were grouped into six populations according to the longitude, latitude, altitude, and rainfall zone of the collection site, and the cultivated barley in one population. The evaluation was conducted during the 2004–2005 growing season under field conditions in three locations in Jordan; namely, Khanasri, Ramtha, and Maru with 123.0, 222.9, and 429.2 mm annual rainfall, respectively. We used an unreplicated design with two systematic checks (the cultivars Rum and Mu’ta) each repeated 15 times. The results showed the existence of high variability among the Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum C. Koch accessions for most of the traits, especially for plant height, tiller number, days to heading, days to anthesis, peduncle length, and peduncle extrusion. Plant height, earliness, peduncle length, and peduncle extrusion were found to be adaptive traits under drought conditions and several superior genotypes for each trait were identified. Genetic variation within population was much higher than between populations. Clustering of populations was according to their ecological geographical pattern.
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Thanks are extended to the National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE) for financing the study and to ICARDA for providing the germplasm and co-financing the laboratory work.
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Shakhatreh, Y., Haddad, N., Alrababah, M. et al. Phenotypic diversity in wild barley (Hordeum vulgare L. ssp. spontaneum (C. Koch) Thell.) accessions collected in Jordan. Genet Resour Crop Evol 57, 131–146 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10722-009-9457-8
- Abiotic stress
- Hordeum spontaneum
- Phenotypic diversity
- Wild barley