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Xiaoli Wang, Zhiyong Wang, Li Liao, Xinyi Zhang and Changjun Bai

Carpetgrass [Axonopus compressus (Sw.) Beauv.] is an important warm-season perennial turfgrass that is widely used in tropical and subtropical areas. The genetic diversity of 63 carpetgrass accessions in China was studied using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. Fourteen SSR primer combinations generated a total of 49 distinct bands, 48 (97.96%) of which were polymorphic. The number of observed alleles ranged from 2 to 6, with an average of 3.5. Coefficients of genetic similarity among the accessions ranged from 0.24 to 0.98. Unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic means (UPGMA) clustered the 63 accessions into three groups, and not all samples from the same region belonged to the same group. SSR markers will promote marker-assisted breeding and the assessment of genetic diversity in wild germplasm resources of carpetgrass.

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Xinyi Zhang, Li Liao, Yang Liu, Zhiyong Wang and Jianxiu Liu

Chrysopogon aciculatus (Retz.) Trin. is a perennial turfgrass for its low management and resistance. To develop simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers for C. aciculatus, we used four Roche 454 pyrosequencing, combined with the magnetic bead enrichment method FIASCO (fast isolation by amplified fragment length polymorphism of sequences containing repeats) to isolate from the C. aciculatus. A total of 66,198 raw sequencing reads were obtained with 4289 sequences (6.48%) were fit for primer pair design. One hundred microsatellite loci were selected to test the primer amplification efficiency in 20 accessions, and out of these, 11 loci were polymorphic. The amount of observed alleles ranged from three to six, with an average of 3.64. Nei’s genetic diversity values ranged from 0.085 to 0.493, with an average of 0.293. Shannon’s information index values ranged from 0.141 to 0.686, with an average of 0.428. Twenty accessions were clustered into three groups by unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic means (UPGMA). These SSR markers will provide an ideal marker system to assist with gene targeting, cultivar variety or species identification, and marker-assisted selection in C. aciculatus species.

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Xinyi Zhang, Li Liao, Zhiyong Wang, Changjun Bai and Jianxiu Liu

Molecular genetic diversity and relationships among 86 Chrysopogon aciculatus (Retz.) Trin. accessions were assessed using intersimple sequence repeat (ISSR) and sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers. Twenty-five ISSR markers generated 283 amplification bands, of which 266 were polymorphic. In addition, 576 polymorphic bands were detected from 627 bands amplified using 30 SRAP primers. Both marker types revealed a high level of genetic diversity, with ISSR markers showing a higher proportion of polymorphic loci (PPL; 94%) than SRAP markers (91.87%). The ISSR and SRAP data were significantly correlated (r = 0.8023). Cluster analysis of the separate ISSR and SRAP data sets clustered the accessions into three groups, which generally were consistent with geographic provenance. Cluster analysis of the combined ISSR and SRAP data set revealed four major groups similar to those based solely on ISSR or SRAP markers. The findings demonstrate that ISSR and SRAP markers are reliable and effective tools for analysis of genetic diversity in C. aciculatus.

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Sheng-Xi Liao, Xian-Jie Mi, Ai-Zhong Liu, Kun Li, Zhen-Yin Yang and Bo Tian

The Chinese Incense-cedar (Calocedrus macrolepis Kruz), an important wood and ornamental tree, is native to southwest China and also in northern Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar. As a result of ecological degradation in these areas, Chinese Incense-cedar was considered a vulnerable species according to the criteria of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. In the current report, we developed and characterized 13 novel microsatellite markers for this species using the protocol of fast isolation by amplified fragment length polymorphism of sequences containing repeats. Polymorphism of each locus was assessed in 36 individuals from nine geographical populations. The number of alleles per locus ranged from two to nine with an average of 6.08. The observed and expected heterozygosities ranged from 0.0000 to 1.0000 and from 0.1549 to 0.8912 with averages of 0.6688 and 0.6815, respectively. Four of the 13 loci were significantly deviated from Hardy-Weinberg expectations. No significant linkage disequilibrium was detected. These polymorphic microsatellite markers would be useful tools for investigating genetic population structure and diversity to establish conservation strategy for this interesting and vulnerable species.