In this study an evaluation was made of changes in the genetic variation of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) of Nordic and Baltic origin, from the end of the 19th century until today. A comparison of Nordic and Baltic material with exotic material that has not been subjected to intense selection was also made. A total of 293 accessions, including 160 Nordic and 80 Baltic landraces, cultivars and breeding lines, and another 53 landraces of exotic origin (Central Asia), were surveyed using isozyme starch gel electrophoresis. For the four isozymes studied, 28 alleles at 11 loci were observed. The average total genetic diversity value (HT) for individual loci ranged between 0 and 0.519. In the exotic material nine loci were polymorphic and two monomorphic, compared to seven polymorphic and four monomorphic loci in the Nordic and Baltic material. Some of the rare alleles were detected only in the exotic material. The studied isozyme loci of Nordic and Baltic material indicated that modern cultivars have a lower average genetic diversity value compared to the landraces, old and exotic material.
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