Plant Genetic Resources: Characterization and Utilization

Research Article

Changes in the genetic diversity of barley of Nordic and Baltic origin, studied by isozyme electrophoresis

Agnese Kolodinska Brantestama1 c1, Roland von Bothmera1, Isaak Rashala2 and Jens Weibulla1

a1 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Crop Science, PO Box 44, SE-230 53 Alnarp, Sweden

a2 Laboratory of Plant Genetics, Institute of Biology, University of Latvia, LV-2169 Salaspils, Latvia

a3 Swedish Biodiversity Centre, PO Box 54, SE-230 53 Alnarp, Sweden


In this study an evaluation was made of changes in the genetic variation of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) of Nordic and Baltic origin, from the end of the 19th century until today. A comparison of Nordic and Baltic material with exotic material that has not been subjected to intense selection was also made. A total of 293 accessions, including 160 Nordic and 80 Baltic landraces, cultivars and breeding lines, and another 53 landraces of exotic origin (Central Asia), were surveyed using isozyme starch gel electrophoresis. For the four isozymes studied, 28 alleles at 11 loci were observed. The average total genetic diversity value (HT) for individual loci ranged between 0 and 0.519. In the exotic material nine loci were polymorphic and two monomorphic, compared to seven polymorphic and four monomorphic loci in the Nordic and Baltic material. Some of the rare alleles were detected only in the exotic material. The studied isozyme loci of Nordic and Baltic material indicated that modern cultivars have a lower average genetic diversity value compared to the landraces, old and exotic material.

(Received August 24 2003)

(Accepted November 24 2003)


c1 *Corresponding author. E-mail: