Wood barley, Hordelymus europaeus, was compared with other Triticeae species by Southern and fluorescence in situ hybridisation using total genomic DNA and repetitive sequences as probes. On Southern blots, the total genomic probe from H. europaeus hybridised strongly to DNA of its own species and to Leymus and Psathyrostachys, indicating the presence of Ns genome in H. europaeus. Furthermore, the total genomic probe from P. fragilis hybridised to DNA of H. europaeus as much as to all of the Psathyrostachys and Leymus species examined. Ns genome-specific DNA sequences isolated from L. mollis (pLmIs1, pLmIs44 and pLmIs53) hybridised essentially to H. europaeus and all of the species of Leymus and Psathyrostachys. Chromosomal localization of these clones on H. europaeus confirmed the presence of Ns genome-specific DNA on all chromosomes, indiscriminately. Under moderate hybridisation stringency the Ns genome-specific probes, together with repetitive sequences pTa71 and pAesKB7, produced species-specific RFLP banding profiles on Southern blots. A phenetic tree based on these profiles revealed a distinct Ns species cluster within the Triticeae, represented by Leymus and Psathyrostachys species. Hordelymus europaeus belonged to this Ns cluster. Chromosomal mapping of the 18S-25S and the 5S ribosomal genes, together with the repetitive sequence pLrTaiI, corroborated that H. europaeus was most probably related to Leymus, especially the European/ Eurasian members of sect. Leymus. In an attempt to identify the genome of H. europaeus, different approaches were employed; the results clearly showed that wood barley had the Ns basic genome and nothing else.
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