Journal of
Plant Breeding and Crop Science

  • Abbreviation: J. Plant Breed. Crop Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9758
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPBCS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 409

Full Length Research Paper

Morphological and molecular characterization of six of the most frequently cultivated hard wheat varieties in Tunisia

Sahari Khoufi1*, Khalil Khamassi1, Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva2, Ramzi Chaabane1and M. Barek Ben Naceur1
  1Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique de Tunisie, Rue Hédi Karray, 2049 Ariana, Tunisia. 2Faculty of Agriculture, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kagawa University, Miki-cho, Kagawa 761-0795, Japan.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 30 March 2012
  •  Published: 15 April 2012



To effectively differentiate and characterize six of the most cultivated hard wheat (Triticum durum Desf) varieties in Tunisia, morphological and molecular markers were used. In the former approach, 10 qualitative characters were employed, as recommended by UPOV descriptors. Twelve of the 17 screened simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers showed clear polymorphic patterns following agarose and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Of these 12 primers, 64.3% produced polymorphic bands. Based on pedigree and origin, it was concluded that there was a narrow genetic base between these varieties. Mantel’s test showed a weak correlation between morphological and molecular data (r = 0.24), indicating that these two approaches are complementary and can be used to study polymorphism, even within a small durum wheat collection. This data set is important for Tunisian hard wheat breeders who would seek to expand the genetic base of their breeding material.


Key words: Simple sequence repeat (SSR), International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) descriptor, hard wheat, polymorphism.