Morphological and genetic variation in Aegilops geniculata from Algeria


Aegilops geniculata Roth is an annual grass relative to cultivated wheats and is widely distributed in North Africa. In order to understand the diversity of this species, 14 populations collected in different bioclimatic areas in northern Algeria were analyzed using morphological and biochemical characters. Principal component analyses (PCA) based on the inflorescence characters and ecological parameters allowed the separation of populations in two mainly bioclimatic clusters characterized by different morphological patterns. Populations originated from humid and sub-humid coastal areas were characterized by vigorous spikes. Samples collected from intermediate and high mountains with humid and semi-arid conditions had long and lanceolate spikes. Individuals with small and narrow spikes were characteristics of steppic highlands in semi-arid conditions and high mountains with humid bioclimate. Individuals were distinguished successively by spike width, spike length, rachis length and awns number. Electrophoretic analyses of high molecular weight glutenin subunits (HMW-GS) based on the phenotypic variability and genetic distances revealed a significant variation within and between populations associated with bioclimatic conditions, in particular winter temperature. Genetic diversity was higher in populations growing under warm bioclimates than in those from cold bioclimates. These results suggest that a part of the variation for HMW glutenin variability is adaptive.

DOI: 10.1007/s00606-008-0106-z

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@article{Bandou2008MorphologicalAG, title={Morphological and genetic variation in Aegilops geniculata from Algeria}, author={Hiroki Bandou and Marta Rodr{\'i}guez-Quijano and Jos{\'e} Mar{\'i}a Carrillo and G{\'e}rard Branlard and Maria Zaharieva and Ph. Monneveux}, journal={Plant Systematics and Evolution}, year={2008}, volume={277}, pages={85-97} }