BGN 10: Wild barley (Hordeum L.) collected by Agriculture Canada in Turkey, Iran and Greece BARLEY GENETICS NEWSLETTER, VOL. 10, II. RESEARCH NOTES
Craig and Fedak, pp. 11-13

II. 5. Wild barley (Hordeum L.) collected by Agriculture Canada in Turkey, Iran and Greece.

I. L. Craig and G. Fedak, Ottawa Research Station, Agriculture Canada, Ottawa, Ontario K1A OC6, Canada.

The Research Branch, Agriculture Canada, recognizing the importance of collecting and conserving cultivated and wild species of barley organized a collecting expedition in April and May 1978 when Dr. B. R. Baum, George Fedak, and J. W. Martens conducted an extensive exploration of Turkey, Iran and Greece.

The areas and specific sites of the collection was selected to represent a wide range of diversity of habitat for each species reinforced by data from the literature, local botanists and agronomists as well as from the collectors' experience and knowledge of the species.

On their return to Canada, the seed data was collated and computerized while the samples themselves were in a cold dormancy period. After dormancy, four to eight seeds per accession were minutely dehulled. Each seed was dipped in a 7% sodium hypochlorite and placed on filter paper in plastic petri dishes. The filter paper was maintained in a dampened state for the first two to three days, or until the radicle appeared, with 550 ppm GA3 in tap water and from then on only tap water. Somatic chromosome counts were obtained using the standard Feulgen technique. Seedlings were planted in soil and at the 2nd leaf stage were vernalized for ten weeks prior to establishing a greenhouse nursery of from two to four plants from each accession.

Table 1 shows the results of the chromosome survey to date.


While the collection has a large number of accessions of H. vulgare and H. spontaneum these species were not included in this study.

H. leporinum was the only hexaploid species. H. bulbosum collected from 371 geographic sites was the largest species in the collection. At least 1200 chromosome verifications were made and only tetraploids were present.

Specimens of all entries of species as well as future hybrids or polyploids produced will be collected. Seed samples from each accession will be deposited in the Plant Gene Resources of Canada. Morphological, fertility (cross- or self-compatibility), annual or perennial growth data are being collated.

This first phase has been primarily of a survey nature; the second phase now underway will evaluate the potential genetic resources which might be incorporated into present crop varieties. Detailed chromosome analysis will include karyotype studies of the somatic chromosomes thereby augmenting studies by Rajhathy et al. (1963). Extensive crossing of all combinations among and between species as well as with standard cultivars will employ the culturing techniques of Fedak (1979) for barley x rye hybrids. The somatic chromosomes data coupled with chromosome pairing studies will facilitate accurate identification of species, the assessment of species relationships within the genus and a rational crossing program.


Fedak, George. 1979. Cytogenetics of a barley x rye hybrid. Can. J. Genet. Cytol. 21:543-548.

Rajhathy, T., J. W. Morrison, and S. Symko. 1963. Interspecific and intergeneric hybrids in Hordeum. In Barley Genetics. I. Proc. 1st Intl. Barley Genet. Symp., pp. 194-212.

BGN 10 toc
BGN Main Index