Geography of Genetic Structure in Barley Wild Relative Hordeum vulgare subsp. spontaneum in Jordan.
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Informed collecting, conservation, monitoring and utilization of genetic diversity requires knowledge of the distribution and structure of the variation occurring in a species. Hordeum vulgare subsp. spontaneum (K. Koch) Thell., a primary wild relative of barley, is an important source of genetic diversity for barley improvement and co-occurs with the domesticate within the center of origin. We studied the current distribution of genetic diversity and population structure in H. vulgare subsp. spontaneum in Jordan and investigated whether it is correlated with either spatial or climatic variation inferred from publically available climate layers commonly used in conservation and ecogeographical studies. The genetic structure of 32 populations collected in 2012 was analyzed with 37 SSRs. Three distinct genetic clusters were identified. Populations were characterized by admixture and high allelic richness, and genetic diversity was concentrated in the northern part of the study area. Genetic structure, spatial location and climate were not correlated. This may point out a limitation in using large scale climatic data layers to predict genetic diversity, especially as it is applied to regional genetic resources collections in H. vulgare subsp. spontaneum
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