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Barbara Gilmore, Nahla Bassil, April Nyberg, Brian Knaus, Don Smith, Danny L. Barney, and Kim Hummer

Peonies (Paeonia), the grand garden perennial of spring and early summer, are economically important to the international cut flower market. Herbaceous peonies (Paeonia section Paeonia), tree peonies (Paeonia section Moutan), and intersectional crosses between the two types (Itoh Paeonia hybrids) are of interest to gardeners, growers, and nursery producers. Thousands of peony cultivars exist and identity is traditionally determined by experienced horticulturists knowledgeable in plant and bloom characteristics. With DNA extraction possible during any time of the year, molecular markers can provide genotype identity confirmation for dormant roots or mature post-bloom plants. The primary objective of our research was to rapidly and inexpensively develop microsatellite markers in a range of Paeonia species using barcoded Illumina libraries. A secondary objective was to apply these simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers to fingerprint 93 accessions that include tree, intersectional, and herbaceous peonies. We used 21 primers to distinguish cultivars and their close relatives. Also from our sequence information, greater than 9000 primers were designed and are made available.