Morphological and genetic diversity of cereal genotypes in kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Salem S. Alghamdi, Sulaiman A. Alfifi, Hussein M. Migdadi, Saud L. Al-Rowaily, Ehab H. El-Harty, Muhammad Farooq*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Cereals are rich in carbohydrates and offer a major source of daily calorie intake. Among cereals, wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), maize (Zea mays L.) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) are the leading crops grown across the globe. The utilization of exotic and diverse germplasm of a crop is a useful tool to increase the genetic diversity among the genotypes. In this study, we collected 11 wheat, 4 barley, 15 sorghum and 6 maize genotypes from farmer's fields of Saudi Arabia and evaluated, for their morphological and genetic diversity potential. Significant differences were observed in the morphological characters of tested wheat, barley, sorghum and maize genotypes under field conditions. Sequence-related amplified polymorphism showed substantial genetic diversity in the tested genotypes of all the cereal crops. All the genotypes of wheat and barley significantly differed for the plant height, productive tillers, 1000 grain weight, and days to 50% flowering and maturity. Similarly, sorghum and maize genotypes differed significantly for the leaf area and plant height. All genotypes of wheat, barley, sorghum and maize differed for the number of alleles; maximum alleles were 156 in wheat, 172 in barley, 127 in sorghum and 73 in maize, per primer combination. Polymorphism of all of tested genotypes of wheat, barley, sorghum and maize was 100% in all the tested genotypes. Existence of genetic diversity of these tested wheat, barley, sorghum and maize genotypes offers opportunities to exploit favourable alleles for use in the breeding program aimed at yield improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-609
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Agriculture and Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Cereals
  • Crop improvement
  • Genetic diversity
  • Sequence-related amplified polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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