Genetical Research

Short Paper

Chloroplast DNA diversity in wild and cultivated barley: implications for genetic conservation

M. T. Clegga1, A. H. D. Browna2 and P. R. Whitfelda2

a1 Departments of Botany and Molecular and Population Genetics, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602

a2 CSIRO, Division of Plant Industry, Canberra City, ACT 2601, Australia


Nine diverse lines of cultivated barley (Hordeum vulgare) and 11 lines of its wild progenitor (H. spontaneum) were assayed for variation in their chloroplast DNA by digestion with ten restriction endonucleases. The cultivated lines exhibited a single cpDNA polymorphism, whereas the wild material exhibited five. The significantly lower level of diversity among the cultivated lines was unexpected because both cultivated and wild lines had been selected for comparable levels of diversity for nuclear encoded isozyme loci. These results suggest that the level of cytoplasmic diversity was markedly restricted during the domestication of cultivated barley.

(Received August 24 1983)

(Revised February 07 1984)