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Assessment of the genetic variability within barley landraces is fundamental for barley breeding. In this study, 16 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) markers were used to characterize selected six barley landraces from different cultivated regions in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) (Gizan, Bahah, Taif, Asser, Qassem and Hail). Amplification of SSRs loci were obtained for 15 primer pairs and only seven among them showed clear polymorphic patterns. These seven primers produce total of 16 alleles with scorable fragment size ranging from approximately 100 to 275 bp. The number of alleles per marker ranged from 1 to 3 with an average of 2.29 alleles per locus. The data generated by these seven primers were sufficient to discriminate the analyzed barley genotypes. Using the unweighed pair-group method using arithmetic averages (UPGMA) cluster analysis, barley landraces were clustered together with respect to their geographical location. These results could be used for barley germplasm management in terms of biodiversity protection and design of new crosses. The present results demonstrate that SSR markers were highly informative and were useful in generating a meaningful classification of barley germplasm.
Key words: Barley, landraces, genetic diversity, molecular markers, microsatellite simple sequence repeat (SSR).