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The present work aimed to select drought tolerant barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) cultivars through identification of stress genes responsible for drought tolerance. Several barley genotypes were tested for drought resistance using specific molecular markers, nine out of all the genotypes were chosen for this study; five out of them were drought resistant (ALEXES, Giza 121, Giza 122, Giza 123 and Giza 128) and four were drought sensitive (Jazan, Qassim, Giza 123 and Giza 2000). The presence of late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins genes was correlated with the drought tolerance in the studied cultivars; hence, this gene confers drought tolerance trait. Drought stress responses such as reduced plant height, number of leaves, tillers and leaf area were noted in all genotypes under water stress conditions as compared to the normally irrigated ones. In order to characterize their genomes, the studied barley cultivars were further analyzed using 10 simple sequence repeats (SSR) and 11 inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSR) primers. The resulted SSR (19 markers) and ISSR (39 markers) were analyzed using NTSYS-pc program for addressing the phylogenetic relationships of the studied genotypes.
Key words: Cultivated barley, drought tolerance, late embryogenesis abundant (LEA), simple sequence repeats (SSR), inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSR).