ISSN 1022-7954, Russian Journal of Genetics, 2017, Vol. 53, No. 4, pp. 455–464. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2017.
Original Russian Text © A.A. Pomortsev, S.V. Boldyrev, E.V. Lyalina, 2017, published in Genetika, 2017, Vol. 53, No. 4, pp. 449–459.
Allele Diversity of Hordein-Coding Loci Hrd A and Hrd B
in Cultivated (Hordeum vulgare L.) and Wild
(Hordeum spontaneum C. Koch) Barley in Turkey
(as Part of the Fertile Crescent)
A. A. Pomortsev*, S. V. Boldyrev, and E. V. Lyalina
Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 119991 Russia
Received April 26, 2016
Abstract⎯Starch gel electrophoresis is performed to study polymorphism of hordeins encoded by the Hrd A
and Hrd B loci in 93 local accessions of cultivated barley and 37 accessions of wild barley from Turkey. Forty-
five and 32 alleles for the Hrd A locus are identified in H. vulgare and H. spontaneum, respectively, and 51 and
49 alleles are identified for the Hrd B locus. For H. vulgare, the allele frequencies range from 0.0011 to 0.2934
for the Hrd A locus and from 0.0011 to 0.0807 for the Hrd B locus. For H. spontaneum, the allele frequencies
for these loci vary from 0.0089 to 0.2434 and from 0.0068 to 0.0766, respectively. Three alleles of the Hrd A
and two of the Hrd В locus are common for Turkish H. vulgare and H. spontaneum. It was demonstrated that
the earliest remains of barley grains were found in archaeological sites in the Middle East in Ohalo II near the
Sea of Galilee dated back to the 17th millennium BC. The age of cultivated and wild barley remains from
Egyptian archeological sites was determined to be 18000 years. We conclude that the southeast region of Turkey
cannot be considered as the domestication center of barley. Herein, H. spontaneum from Southeastern Turkey
could have been the donor of some hordein-coding alleles for H. vulgare. This could have been due to sponta-
neous hybridization events between H. vulgare and H. spontaneum during expansion of cultivated barley.
Keywords: cultivated barley, wild barley, hordein-coding loci, centers of origin
At least a dozen hypotheses on the center (or cen-
ters) of origin of cultivated barley were proposed at dif-
ferent times by different researchers on the basis of
archaeological, botanical, and genetic studies.
According to these hypotheses, their authors placed
the center of origin of cultivated barley within various
regions of North and Northeast Africa, the Near East,
and Western, Central, and East Asia [1–10]. At the
same time, convincing evidence exists on the ancestor
of cultivated barley being H. spontaneum C. Koch .
According to one of these hypotheses based on
archaeological data, domestication of barley could
have occurred in Southeastern Turkey/Northern
Syria, at the upper Tigris and Euphrates, in the central
region of the Fertile Crescent in the years 9000–8000 BC
. During a previous analysis of hordeins in 93 local
accessions of cultivated barley from 17 ancient prov-
inces of Turkey, we discovered 45 alleles of the Hrd A
locus and 51 alleles of the Hrd B locus . On the
basis of cluster analysis of the allele frequency matrix,
we defined three clusters which comprised 82% of
studied accessions and concluded that the discovered
differentiation of the studied population of cultivated
barley within the territory of Turkey can probably be
determined by formation of diversity of existing local
populations under the influence of historical pro-
cesses proceeding in the country for several millennia.
In connection with the above, it was of interest to
compare allele diversity of two highly polymorphic
loci Hrd A and Hrd B in accessions of H. spontaneum
from the regions of Southeastern Turkey and in local
accessions of cultivated barley from this country.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Hordeins were studied in 37 accessions of H. spon-
taneum from Southeastern Turkey which were kindly
offered by Dr. J. Valkoun from the International Cen-
ter for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
(Aleppo, Syria) and Dr. B. Kilian from IPK (Gatersle-
ben, Germany). For 36 of the studied accession, the
geographical coordinates of the collection are known
(Fig. 1, Table 1).
Electrophoresis of hordeins was conducted in col-
umns of 12–14% starch gel with 3М urea in aluminum