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  • Author or Editor: Kim S. Lewers x
  • Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science x
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Interest in molecular markers and genetic maps is growing among researchers developing new cultivars of Rubus L. (raspberry and blackberry). Several traits of interest fail to express in seedlings or reliably in some environments and are candidates for marker-assisted selection. A growing number of simple sequence repeat (SSR) molecular markers derived from Rubus and Fragaria L. (strawberry) are available for use with Rubus mapping populations. The objectives of this study were to test 142 of these SSR markers to screen raspberry and blackberry parental genotypes for potential use in existing mapping populations that segregate for traits of interest, determine the extent of inter-species and inter-genera transferability with amplification, and determine the level of polymorphism among the parents. Up to 32 of the SSR primer pairs tested may be useful for genetic mapping in both the blackberry population and at least one of the raspberry populations. The maximum number of SSR primer pairs found useable for mapping was 60 for the raspberry population and 45 for the blackberry population. Acquisition of many more nucleotide sequences from red raspberry, black raspberry, and blackberry are required to develop useful molecular markers and genetic maps for these species. Rubus, family Rosaceae, is a highly diverse genus that contains hundreds of heterozygous species. The family is one of the most agronomically important plant families in temperate regions of the world, although they also occur in tropical and arctic regions as well. The most important commercial subgenus of Rubus is Idaeobatus Focke, the raspberries, which are primarily diploids. This subgenus contains the european red raspberry R. idaeus ssp. idaeus L., as well as the american black raspberry R. occidentalis L. and the american red raspberry R. idaeus ssp. strigosus Michx. Interspecific hybridization of these, and other raspberry species, has led to greater genetic diversity and allowed for the introgression of superior traits such as large fruit size, fruit firmness and quality, disease resistance, and winter hardiness.

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The cultivated strawberry, Fragaria ×ananassa Duchesne ex Rozier, originated via hybridization between octoploids F. chiloensis (L.) Mill. and F. virginiana Mill. These three octoploid species are thought to share a putative genome composition of AAA`A'BBB`B'. Diploid F. vesca L., is considered to have donated the A genome. Current attention to the development of a diploid model system for strawberry genomics warrants the assessment of simple sequence repeat (SSR) marker transferability between the octoploid and diploid species in Fragaria L. In the present study, 23 SSR primer pairs derived from F. ×ananassa `Earliglow' by genomic library screening were evaluated for their utility in six diploid Fragaria species, including eight representatives of F. vesca, four of F. viridis Weston, and one each of F. nubicola (Hook. f.) Lindl. ex Lacaita, F. mandshurica Staudt, F. iinumae Makino, and F. nilgerrensis Schltdl. ex J. Gay. SSR primer pair functionality, as measured by amplification success rate (= 100% - failure rate) in each species, was ranked (from highest to lowest) as follows: F. vesca (98.4%) > F. iinumae (93.8%) = F. nubicola (93.8%) > F. mandshurica (87.5%) > F. nilgerrensis (75%) > F. viridis (73.4%). The extent to which these octoploid-derived SSR primer pairs generated markers that could be added to the F. vesca linkage map also was assessed. Of the 13 F. ×ananassa SSR markers that segregated codominantly in the F. vesca mapping population, 11 were assigned to linkage groups based upon close linkages to previously mapped loci. These markers were distributed over six of the seven F. vesca linkage groups, and can serve as anchor loci defining these six groups for purposes of comparative mapping between F. vesca and F. ×ananassa.

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