We mapped DNA polymorphisms generated by 41 sets of Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) primers, developed independently in four laboratories. All primer sets gave polymorphisms that could be located on our `White Angel' x `Rome Beauty' map for apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. Var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.]. The SSR primers were used to identify homologous linkage groups in `Wijcik McIntosh', NY 75441-58, `Golden Delicious', and `Liberty' cultivars for which relatively complete linkage maps have been constructed from isozyme and Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers. In several instances, two or more SSRs were syntenic, and except for an apparent translocation involving linkage group (LG) 6, these linkages were conserved throughout the six maps. Twenty-four SSR primers were consistently polymorphic, and these are recommended as standard anchor markers for apple maps. Experiments on a pear (Pyrus communis L.) population indicated that many of the apple SSRs would be useful for mapping in pear. However some of the primers produced fragments in pear significantly different in size than those in apple.
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