The wild ancestral form of barley, Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum, is a valuable source for gene enrichment of cultivated barley. The purpose of this work was to study the area of distribution as well as the extent and structure of genetic variation of wild barley populations grown in Kazakhstan. It was found that distribution of wild barley populations in Kazakhstan is restricted to the most southern province. A genome wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis was performed in order to study the level of the genetic diversity in 96 accessions representing 14 wild barley populations from Kazakhstan and 25 accessions from the Middle East which is the center of diversity of this subspecies. The oligonucleotide pooled assay was used to genotype 384 SNPs distributed throughout the genome. In total 233 polymorphic SNPs were selected for further statistical analysis. The level of genetic diversity of wild barley populations from Kazakhstan was predictably narrower (He = 0.19 ± 0.01) in comparison with wild barley samples from the Middle East (He = 0.29 ± 0.01). The results suggested that H. vulgare ssp. spontaneum populations in Kazakhstan probably represent a recent spread of a limited number of plants from the primary distribution area and might be well adapted to winter low temperature.
Keywords: genetic diversity; genome; single nucleotide polymorphism; wild barley.